People who drive into the office everyday often are jealous of the work from home crowd. If you work at home, you don’t have to fight traffic and deal with co-workers stinky meals. You may even work in your pajamas if the mood strikes.
What these office workers do not understand is that working from home has its own difficulties. Particularly, it can be hard for them to shut off their workday. It’s not abnormal for professionals who work from home to look and see that it’s midnight and they’re still writing reports. Maintaining a normal work/life balance can be a complicated balancing act for those who work from home.
However, there are things that individuals who work from home can do to remedy this for their own mental health.
- Set up a time for your “close of business”: Set normal working hours for yourself and stick to them. Whether you start work at 9 and stop at 5, or work from 11 to 7, ensure the hours you set do not intrude too much on your personal life. Giving up that can be very detrimental. You know, all work and no play etc.
- Do something for yourself: When your day ends, be sure to do something for yourself. It doesn’t have to be much. Watch a TV show, work out, or read something non-work related. This habit will help you no matter when you have set your workday to end. This can be something simple: Maybe you want to take it easy on the couch and stream a few episodes of your favorite sitcom. Or it can be a bigger deal, such as a dinner date with a friend or a trip to the movies. Getting a mental break will help get you mentally out of your work.
- Leave the house: When you work from home you can easily end up spending the majority of your time at home. So, it’s crucial that you notice this is happening and leave the house. Make dinner plans with your friends or go hiking. You should do anything to make sure that you don’t go all week without leaving the house. That’s simply not healthy.
Overwork results in stress. Whether you work from home, in an office, or out in the field, the key to holding onto your sanity is to reserve non-work time for yourself. But what if you can’t force yourself to shut off the workday? Then it might be time to consider returning to the office, where there’s always someone around to shut off the lights and chase you out of your cubicle.