We all love autonomy. Getting up early and sitting in traffic to go to a desk job only to sit in traffic again and get home late doesn’t jive for everyone. In search of work-life balance, many people dream of being able to work from home. In fact, research indicates that one-third of employees will work remotely within the next 10 years. While this shift in work environments may seem like a step in the right direction toward finding a better work-life office, where do the lines begin and end? That is why you need to disconnect. Here is how:
Have One Work Area
They say don’t mix business with pleasure. So, don’t have common areas (ahem — or your bedroom) serve as your office. You can’t associate areas where you’re supposed to decompress with the tasks that cause you stress. Therefore, you must draw the line with a wall … preferably four.
Having a designated work area also makes you a better telecommuter. If you don’t scramble your work necessities throughout the house, you don’t have to leave your workspace and break your rhythm.
Plus, creating a work area also allows you to keep your personal stuff at bay. Secluding yourself from the living room will fight the temptation of the television. Not typing at the kitchen counter decreases the chances of a fridge raid. You get the picture, because you know these struggles are real!
Put a Stop to the Communication
If you work from home, you need to create boundaries. Some companies that work with you through an office forget that your home is your office. So, they’re used to calling you and not thinking twice about it.
Working from home allows you privacy but in the same respects, puts you in a position where communication lines always remain open. It’s like others perceive working remotely as a perk, therefore you must be available 24/7. No siree.
When you work remotely, set boundaries. That means you also need to create office hours. Anyone entering a business agreement with you should have a full understanding as to when you are available. Set your email up with an out-of-office reply every night. Turn your phone off. Be done. You’re home.
We all need a change of scenery. That’s why home feels so rewarding after a long hard day at work. Heck, even some parents look at work as a break from home! So, if you work from home, you need to reward yourself with a change of scenery. Go outside.
Many studies show numerous health benefits to going outside. Some of these perks include:
- Lower cortisol levels
- Fight depression
- Eliminate fatigue
- Decreases blood pressure
- Increases focus
Sitting sedentary in your home, hunched over a computer all day is doing nothing for your general health, disposition, or productivity. Take a break from the house … er, office. Recharge your brain. Soak up some vitamin D. Your clients, loved ones, and your body will thank you.
One of the luxuries of working from home is that you get to create your own schedule. You’re not beholden to certain office hours inside of a specific building. When you’re working the 9 to 5 in an office, you can’t just go to the conference room and hop on a treadmill. You can if you have one at home.
Working out is the ultimate self-care. It lets your body know that you value it. In return, you grow stronger, healthier, and happier.
Not to mention, working out allows you to free your mind. As we work out, it puts our body under immense stress. This stress diverts all of our mind power. We’re concerned with form, counting reps, breathing, and pushing through. Diverting your attention allows you to decompress and helps you disconnect while working home.
Join the neighborhood gym. Do at-home yoga videos on YouTube. Go for a run around the block. Whatever tickles your fancy, go ahead and do it.
Find a Hobby
If you haven’t noticed, there seems to be a bit of a pattern going on here. The key to disconnecting from work, whether you work from home or not, is to distract yourself.
Let’s face it. If there’s a phone in our hands, then we’re much more accessible. Therefore, we need to find reasons to put that phone down. What better way than doing more of what you love?
Hobbies are icings on the cake of life. Learn a new language. Join a dart league. Volunteer at an animal shelter. Take painting lessons. Train for a marathon. Think long and hard about something you are passionate about and commit to it.
Talk to People
One of the downsides to working from home is that you miss out on the social aspect. Water cooler talk and lunch breaks usually involve your fur babies instead of your fellow colleagues. Pets are great company but sometimes the language barrier can be a bit too much.
When we work from home, we don’t realize how much we miss interacting with others. In fact, we may find ourselves a bit excited when we get an email. After all, studies show that notifications cause a rush of dopamine. Dopamine is our body’s built-in rewards program. In some ways, working from home can cause you to become addicted to checking work emails.
The only way to break the cycle is to have an actual human interaction. While you love them, you see the people you live with so much … they’re practically your co-workers! Make time every couple of days to talk to people who live outside of your house. Call your grandparents. Go to lunch with an old friend. FaceTime with a relative in another state. Just have some human interaction!
Take a Nap
Sleep is great because well, it’s sleep. However, it also does wonders for our productivity. One study found that the work performance of the sleep-deprived deteriorated less after a 30-minute nap. Even more astonishing, those who were sleep-deprived actually reversed the effects of the condition on work performance after an hour nap. So, the more sleep you take during the day, the more productive you will be when you wake up from your siesta.
However, we’re trying to be disconnected … not more productive. Sleep is the ultimate reset button. Work can’t reach you if you’re not awake. That’s how you sleep through dates you don’t want to go on, and it’s also how you completely disconnect from work.
Need help getting to sleep? Don’t we all! Work can be stressful … especially when your office is the same place you rest your head. To find balance, you need to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm. To accomplish this feat, try an all-natural supplement with melatonin like Sleep-Fast.
How to Disconnect from Work When You Work at Home
Work-life balance is a fine thread. Balancing on this thin string can be so rewarding. Telecommuting allows you the freedom to choose your own schedule, look after your child, and/or wear sweats all day. With that being said, it does come with its downfalls.
When you work at home, you run the risk of hurting your productivity. Plus, you are bringing outside stress into an area that should be your safe space. Lastly, you never change your scenery. All of this makes it almost impossible to disconnect.
Disconnect by carving out office space and giving yourself business hours. Take time to go outside, work out, and partake in your hobbies. Remember to communicate with actual human beings outside of your home and get a good night’s (or midday’s) rest. All of this will allow you to disconnect, even if your home is your office.
What do you do to disconnect after a long day of work? Let us know in the comments below!