Why you should keep your remote working separate from your home life
As remote working becomes increasingly popular and looks set to become more so in the next decade, it is important to understand how to work effectively under its unique conditions.
Remote working offers many benefits, of course. It allows you to work from home without having to worry about travelling to an office. As a result, you can personalize your work routine to allow an extra hour in bed every morning or to get up earlier and get your work done before the sun rises.
These benefits are a double-edged sword, though. Remote working can make it harder for you to concentrate and harder to relax once your work is finished. This is what happens when your office and recreational space are the same place.
It is, therefore, imperative that you separate your work from your home life.
Here is how:
It is more professional and secure to have a digital mailbox
If you run a business remotely, the line between work and home life can easily become blurred. This is especially true if you list your home as your official work address. Deliveries, returns and paperwork can quickly spiral out of control, and cause you to constantly think about your job, even when you are not working.
Listing your home address online also raises privacy issues, so it is wise to separate your personal and work addresses. One method is to use a virtual mailbox, which you can rent from a number of mail centers across the country and abroad. These are real mailboxes addressed on real streets, so you can have your mail delivered to it easily using a range of approved courier services.
It allows you to have your work postal address as near or as far away as you like – even on a different continent if necessary – to better maintain your work/life balance and privacy. You can find these mailboxes at iPostal1.
Make sure you have a dedicated work space
Unless you have a private office, working at home can be rife with distractions, especially if you have a family. Unless you create clear rules and dedicate a particular room or desk to your work, your productivity will go through the floor.
Firstly, set clear work times and share them with any family or friends who are likely to disturb you unwittingly. This makes it easier for you to focus on your work and not appear disagreeable. You should also use this approach even with people who are not in your house. Frequent calls or messages can be a huge distraction and are harder to ignore when you are at home. Make it clear that you are at work and are available to contact only in your free time.
Furthermore, create a dedicated space to your work. Whether it is a room, desk or even a section of the kitchen table, you need a space you can associate with work. If you keep it neat and orderly, your productivity will likely skyrocket and you will not associate your whole house with work, reducing your stress levels.
By setting these rules and creating a dedicated workspace, you can better separate work from home life.
When possible, leave the house and work somewhere else
To maintain the separation between home and work, you should aim to work somewhere other than your house at least once a week. Coffee shops and co-working spaces are perfect candidates for your temporary workstation.
It will also allow you to interact with new people on your breaks, experience a new location and prevent you from getting burnt out staring at the same four walls all day, every day.