How To Leave Work At Work, When You Work From Home
Due to the changes brought about by the national lockdown, many people have found themselves working from home for the first time.
Finding the balance between your work and home life can be difficult when first thrust into this situation. What are some ways that you can keep work in its proper place?
Work Is Important
It is very important that your family respect your work obligations and work time. Just because you are working from home, does not mean that you are available to your family 24/7.
Your employer is paying you for the time you are meant to be working. If your family members keep distracting you, that is effectively stealing time from your boss.
It is important that families discuss the new rules around your work situation. If you have young ones in the family, you might need to repeat this discussion from time to time.
Just because you can work all hours of the day, does not mean that you should. You have other important things to deal with that could be neglected if you focus solely on work: your own health, your family’s needs and household chores that need to be attended to.
‘Just because you can work all hours of the day, does not mean that you should’
Try to treat remote work like your regular office work. Every morning, get dressed, work from a designated area in the house, take breaks (only when you normally would during the regular workday) and “head home” at the end of the workday.
If you treat your work professionally, then your family will follow your attitude and do the same.
Use Technology Wisely
If your eyes are glued to a tablet or phone all day unnecessarily, this could be damaging your relationships at home. Your partner may feel neglected and even begin to resent the time you have to use your device for work.
By being aware to not use your phone for work purposes outside of work time, you will reduce this stress for your partner.
In general, we tend to look at screens too much. Be sure to take regular breaks (which will be good for your eyes, neck and back). Be aware of the people around you, and even if you are legitimately busy on your device, try to regularly look up to see what is going on.
Work is Important But Your Family Is Important Too
Your boss would love it if you worked 24 hours a day, but is unlikely to pay you to do so. So, be sure to work hard for the time that they do pay for, but know when to get changed and relax.
‘Your boss would love it if you worked 24 hours a day, but is unlikely to pay you to do so’
Because you are dependent on your job for income, it is important to discuss how you can cooperate as a family, so that you can give provide quality work during office hours.
Keep in mind that jobs come and go, but your most important relationships are with your family. So, look up regularly to make sure they are ok.
Take short breaks during set times to give them the attention they crave during the workday (especially the young ones).
Make technology work for you, don’t let it use you, then you will be able to put down that device, turn off that computer and enjoy very precious time with your family once the workday is over.
This article first appeared in Debtfree Magazine issue #6 of 2020