Work/life balance while working from home

Work/life balance is a reoccurring concern in the best of times. With more and more people working from home, the question takes on some urgency. Employees who work from a home office will often be confronted with distractions from the family that have to be dealt with immediately. How can people balance the needs of being a productive employee and still deal with family issues?

Forbes recently ran an article about keeping a balance while working from home with some suggestions that should be considered.

First, a homeworker should keep separate areas for work and home. He or she should keep a home office that is solely for work and nothing else. Family members, especially children, need to know when Daddy or Mommy is at work, he or she is not to be disturbed for any but the most extreme reasons.

Next, the employee working remotely should have separate computers for work and personal use. This arrangement should reduce distractions like social media or surfing the net when work needs to be done.

Employees working from home should perform some sort of ritual that transitions him or her from work mode to home mode. Go out for a walk, a jog, or a bike ride. Do something that will serve as a dividing line from one’s workday to the rest of the day. That way a clear dividing line has been established between work time and home time. 

Finally, the work-at-home employee should plan the after-work part of the day. He or she should get out of the notion that long hours translate to productivity.  Except under extraordinary circumstances, a work-from-home employee should avoid logging back on to the work computer to send that last email or finish that last task once the allotted workday has ended. Pressing deadlines are, of course, the notable exception.