Telecommuting is becoming more common, and you can have a great career working from home. However, telecommuting can also put a strain on your personal life if your work bleeds over into your home life. Here, Adam Ferrari of Ferrari Energy details five ways that you can maintain better separation between your personal and professional life while working from home.
1. Dress for Work
An obvious part of working in an office is getting ready every morning. Work attire differs from office to office and from day to day, and your home office is no exception. While it is not likely that you will feel a need to wear a business suit to work at your home office daily, you should also not expect that staying in pajamas all day will help with your productivity either. Dressing for your work environment gets your mind ready for a productive day and also promotes a positive self-image.
2. Establish a Separate and Clearly Defined Work Space
Creating your office in a separate room, or at least in an exclusive area inside your home dedicated only to work, gives you an essential mental “commute” from living space to workspace every day. Keep distractions like radio and TV away from your dedicated workspace. Also, be sure that family members understand the boundaries of your workspace and respect your privacy when you are at work. This process does not mean that you must spend 8 hours a day locked away at your work desk, but it does mean that when you take breaks from work that you physically move from your workspace to your living space.
3. Build In “Unwind” Time That Would Normally Be Consumed At Least In Part by Your Commute
When your workday ends, dedicate a few minutes to unwinding from work to get ready for your home life routine. Think of this as the time you would typically spend on your commute home, although it may only take a minute or two to complete the process. Whether you walk around the block, listen to the radio or a podcast, or visit the grocery, whatever your designate as your end of the daily work routine will help you decompress and get ready to relax in your living space.
4. Keep Your Work Technology Inside Your Workspace
When you work from a traditional office space, your computer and other technology stay at your office when you go home. You may need to respond to work emails or texts from your phone at home, but most of your work material is kept separately. To the extent possible, maintain this same separation at your home office. Although work seems to follows us around, try to avoid having your electronics send endless work notifications during personal time.
5. Develop Seamless and Constant Connectivity with the Office and Co-Workers During Work Hours
A key to keeping work time moving efficiently is maintaining constant contact with work from your home office. Whether by phone, online chat programs, or video conferencing, modern communication technology allows you to create a home workspace with very similar connectivity to a traditional office space. Effective communication increases your productivity while maintaining a work environment at home that feels distinct from your home life.
About Adam Ferrari
Adam Ferrari is the founder of the Denver-based mineral acquisitions company Ferrari Energy. He is a chemical engineer by degree and is an accomplished petroleum engineer by profession. He also has experience in the financial sector through his work at an investment banking firm. Under his leadership, his company has supported numerous charitable organizations including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Freedom Service Dogs, Denver Rescue Mission, Coats for Colorado, and Next Steps of Chicago.