Friday, June 8, 2012

Working From Home: The Grass is not Always Greener

Workers who trudge into an office every day are jealous of people who work from home. After all, the work-from-home crowd doesn't have to battle rush-hour traffic, listen to office gossip, or smell the day-old fish that their fellow employees are microwaving in the office cafeteria.


What these office workers don't understand is that working from home has its own issues. Namely, it can be hard for them to shut off their workday. It's not uncommon for professionals who work from home to look and see that it's midnight and they're still writing reports. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance can be a complicated balancing act for individuals who work from home.


Luckily, there are some things individuals who work from home can do to help them keep the balance between there personal home life and their work home life.


  1. Set up a time for your “close of business”: Be sure to set a time to end work. No matter what that looks like for you. It could be a normal 9am to 5pm, or 12pm to 8pm. Just be certain that you stick to it and shut your computer off when your day ends.
  2. Do something for yourself: After you shut down your computer for the day, make sure you do something for yourself. This will help 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: It's easy as a work-from-homer to spend all of your time at home. You look up, see it's the end of the week, and realize that the only time you left your house was to go to the grocery store when you ran out of cereal. Don't become a work-from-home shut-in. It's simply not healthy.

Overwork leads to stress, whether you work from home, in an office, or out in the field. The key to keeping your sanity, no matter 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 often there is someone around to shut off those lights and chase you out of your cubicle.

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