When you work or run a business from home, it’s all too easy to find yourself losing the “home” element. While you may have imagined that working from home would have involved a single room — the room you designate as an office — you will soon find that it doesn’t always work this way. In the blink of an eye, you’ll find that there’s paperwork on countertops in the kitchen, leaflets in the living room, and you stay up late into the night on your laptop in your bedroom. It shouldn’t happen but, all too often, it does.
The importance of work-life balance
Over the past few years, the phrase “work-life balance” has really risen to prominence. Despite this prominence, a huge number of us still have problems maintaining a good work-life balance— and this is even more difficult to achieve when you work from home.
Over time, your home working environment can spread to the rest of your house. The impact this can have on you, mentally, is overwhelmingly negative. We all need space that we can escape to, and if your work follows you into every room, then there’s no way you’re going to be able to obtain the distance you need for optimal mental health.
So you know what’s going to come next
Unless this is the very first post you have ever read about working from home, you likely know what’s going to come next: you’re going to be told to create an individual working space in your home, keep to regular houses, and never let work-related items spread into the living space.
We understand that common advice doesn’t always work for everyone. What’s more, why should you want it to? Surely one of the upsides of working from home is that you can finish off a report while relaxing on the sofa, or sitting out in the garden enjoying the spring sunshine?
Here’s what you should do instead:
If full separation of work and home life is proving difficult for you, then switch your approach and work on reclaiming your home. Make your home as good as it can possibly be; so good that you love it, and feel at peace, even when you have various work paraphernalia spread outside of your office. Whether that means a newly-designed interior, a brand new kitchen, or a home theater installation is up to you— just allow yourself to dream, and achieve the home of your dreams.
There’s very little point in trying to stick to the “rules” for working from home if you know from experience that they’re not working for you. Instead, choose to embrace the fact that your home is always going to have a working element to it, and counteract this by introducing plenty of fun and pleasure through the rest of your environment. While such a solution might not be the ideal that every self-help guide tells you to stick to, it might just be the solution that works for the best for you.