With so many jobs moving to remote, work from home positions, separating work life from home life can seem daunting. Researchers from Ladders project that 25% of professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. This doesn't include all the entrepreneurial spirited freelance workers who run their own show from their home! Home based businesses and remote jobs are here to stay, but it's important to make sure you're keeping your priorities in check.
If you do work from home, your workspace may look very different from the next person. For some, they have a dedicated office space in their home to go to during work hours. For others, they may have a dual purpose space, like workspace inside their bedroom (guilty!). And for others, they may have an workspace completely separate from their home, like a backyard office shed.
I'd argue that the first two options create the most challenges when attempting to separate work life from home life. Having your personal home life just steps away from your working area is a recipe for distraction. Although it's reported that working from home boosts productivity, it does open the door for leaks in that theory. Something that I've struggled with in my own setup lately is reminding myself that if I was at an office, my pets would be alone. It's easy to let them distract you or be consumed by what they're up to. Trying to micro manage things at home that would be out of the picture if you weren't at home is a great way to waste time! And, it can ultimately have a negative impact on your attitude during your work day.
The other challenge in having a setup at home, is having unlimited access to your work station. It can be all too easy to jump back on to do "one more quick thing" when spending time with family. While some see it as convenient, it will be taken advantage of. Especially if your employer knows you'll do tasks after hours! This creates unnecessary friction between you, your family and your personal time. On the flip side, having full access to your home is equally tempting. Shutting off the home based distractions like cleaning up or taking too many snack breaks requires will power!
Having unlimited access to your home and your workspace comes with a unique set of challenges. However, it also has an extremely rewarding side when handled properly. Learn to manage yourself, your space and how you handle these challenges. Then, you will take advantage of all the wonderful benefits that come from remote work!