Working From Home: The Grass is not Always Greener

June 8th, 2012

People who drive into the office everyday often envy the work from home crowd. If you work from home, you don’t have to fight traffic and deal with co-workers stinky meals. You may even work in your pajamas if the mood strikes.

What these office workers do not understand is that working from home comes with its own problems. Namely, it can be hard for them to shut off their workday. It’s not unusual for professionals who work from home to look and see that it’s midnight and they are still creating reports. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance can be a complicated balancing act for individuals who work from home.

Fortunately, work-from-homers can take steps to better their work/life balance and retain their sanity.

  1. Set up a time for your “close of business”: Be sure you set a time to end work. Regardless of what that looks like for you. It could be a regular 9am to 5pm, or 12pm to 8pm. Make absolutely certain that you stick to it and shut your computer off when your day ends.
  2. Do something for yourself: After you turn off your computer for the day, be sure to do something for yourself. This helps your mind switch between work and your personal life. It doesn’t have to be something grand. It can be watching your favorite TV show, or working out. Just make sure you do something so you “reset” your day.
  3. Leave the house: When you work from home it is easy to end up spending the majority of your time there. You look up, see it’s the end of the week, and find that the only time you’ve left your house was to run to the supermarket when you ran out of cereal. Don’t turned into a work-from-home shut-in. It’s simply not healthy.

Overwork causes stress, whether you work from home, in an office, or out in the field. The key to preserving your sanity, regardless how you work, is to reserve non-work time for yourself. So what happens if you can’t force yourself to shut off the workday? Maybe it’s time to consider returning to the office, where there’s always someone around to shut off those lights and chase you out of your cubicle.

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