When your office is physically away from your home, it’s easy to mentally separate the two, but when your office is your home, you may find the separation a little difficult. As more people are turning toward telecommuting, the boundaries between work and family are wearing thin. And with increasing technological developments, your already mobile office is expanding to other areas of your life and nearly eliminating all work/family boundaries. Not only does this affect the people around you, but it has an impact on your mental health–which can lead to career burnout, insomnia, depression, and stress.
Stanford Professor, Nicholas Bloom, studied 500 employees at Shanghai’s largest travel agency to see if working from home created more or less efficient progress (watch his Tedx Talk below). For the two years of Blooms’ study, he discovered at-home employees were more efficient than in-office employees. However, over half of the at-home employees did not want to continue working from home on a daily basis. Many of the employees found working from home too isolating and would prefer a few days in the office.
Although working from home has many perks for employers and employees, it remains important to keep a work-life balance. When your home becomes your office, you’re not eliminating stress because it’s simply taking on new forms. If you already work from home or are thinking about making the transition, here are some ideas to keep in mind:
Keep Your Hours the Same
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to work late and not have set times to come in and leave. If your position did not previously require office time, set a strict eight-hour work day. Just as you would work in an office, give yourself a 30-60 minute break to step away from your workplace. If you have worked in an office, keep those same hours. Make sure your schedule stays as routine as possible.
Work in Public
While the main perk of working from home is not getting out of your pajamas, the biggest downside is not having social interactions. Although you may not have enjoyed the small-talk of fellow coworkers, it had positive impacts on your mental health. Eliminating face-to-face communication does not affect you immediately, but over a few months you may start to notice signs of depression, which results in less motivation and poor work ethic. One way to combat this is to work in public places – like our co-working space! When you’re working around other passionate people, you’ll feel more energized, have an outlet for socializing, and better manage your work-life balance.
Maintain Distance from Home Problems
If you’re working from home in hopes to better address issues there, just stay at the office. Do not let the pile of dirty clothes, dishes, and/or broken relationships keep you at home. Odds are, those will keep you away from your work. If you choose to work from home and still have issues you want to take care of, make sure your work-life boundaries are firmly in place.
Nicholas Bloom | Go Ahead, Tell Your Boss You Are Working From Home
To learn more about working from home, check out the articles below: