How to Separate Home and Work While Working Remotely

Faith Nzomo
January 10, 2021

Working from home makes it harder to inform when work ends and life begins. Here’s how to have work-life balance;

The pandemic has blended our once-separate work lives and residential lives into one homogenous work-life smoothie. When you Work from home the office is inescapable. Bedrooms are transformed into home offices. Our dining tables and kitchen countertops are now the new work station. The line between  personal time and business time becomes blurred until you inevitably find yourself answering emails in bed and taking meetings over bowls of cereal. Our work life balance is, well, pretty unbalanced lately.

There are upsides to working remotely, of course. People who work from home cite the lack of a daily commute and a flexible schedule as an enormous benefit to their mental health, a vital time-saver that allows them to possess better sleep and longer hours with family. But there are downsides, too. Depending on your personality type, you would possibly find it difficult to draw a line between work mode and residential mode, especially if both happen within the same physical space. Remote workers taker fewer and shorter breaks and—perhaps counterintuitively—end up working longer hours than their office-based counterparts.

Our attitudes toward how we work and the post-pandemic rise of remote working have some reconciling to do. This is why it’s increasingly important to be proactive about keeping your work life and your home life separate. Not only does maintaining a distinction between the two sides improve your personal life, but by clearly outlining the boundaries of your working day, you’ll end up more productive and better able to achieve your goals in a shorter space of time.

Before we take a look at how to separate home and work life, let’s discuss why it’s important to begin with.

Why Its important to separate work life and home life
Benefits of keeping work and home separate

How you can separate home and work

The benefits of a healthy work-life balance are clear enough, but how you achieve and maintain this balance is less straightforward. It can depend on the kind of work you do. Freelancers and those who work in small teams can more easily agree on rules around when and how work gets done. Employees in larger teams with a culture of working late or always being available can find it harder to move the needle.

Striking a good balance can also depend on your personality type—that is, whether you’re an integrator or a segmenter. Regardless of which label best describes you, there are some steps you can take toward a healthy work-life balance that benefits you and those around you.

o Communicate your working hours to your colleagues. Create an expectation with your coworkers around your availability, and avoid sending or replying to non-urgent emails outside of work hours these can almost always wait.

o Track how you’re spending your time. For a week or two, make a note of how you’re spending every hour of the day, whether that’s working, relaxing, socializing, or sleeping. Knowing the shape of your existing work-life balance is the first step toward adjusting it.

o Reduce the length and frequency of meetings. If you’re zoomed out chances are your colleagues are too. Too many unproductive meetings, delay the completion of other tasks and extend your workday. Discuss the number of meetings you’re having and find ways to reduce them.

o Create separate personal and professional user accounts on your devices. Your phone and laptop should have a separate login for work-related activities. This not only prevents notifications and calendar reminders from interrupting you during personal time, but a dedicated login helps reduce distractions and keep you more focused during the day.

o Find a quiet desk away from home. Renting a dedicated workspace by the day is an excellent way to stay productive and properly manage your time. The minthub Day pass is a day pass that grants you access to stunning office spaces and meeting rooms in Westlands, with no monthly commitment to worry about

o Putting some physical distance between where you live and where you work is the smartest step you can take toward achieving a healthier work-life balance. Free from the distractions of working from home, you can focus on what you do best, on a timeline and a budget that suits you. 

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