As technology advances, more and more people are working part or even fulltime from home. Whether you spend a few days a month at home or every minute of the day there, the line between home and work is blurring and it’s causing productivity issues. If you don’t believe it, ask your employees. For some businesses, like NuSkin, company reviews by employees have been a great source of information and have led to a healthier balance of home and work life. An example of NuSkin company reviews can give you a feel for what information leads to making change. Here are five ways that you can make sure to keep that healthy balance yourself.
It can be a scary thing to say no, especially to someone above you on the food chain, but it’s definitely better to say no to something, then take on more than you can handle and perform the job poorly. Figure out what you can reasonably handle and don’t be afraid to tell your team leads, managers, or bosses that you already have too much on your plate. Make sure that they know it’s because you want to be able to perform your best work, not because you’re lazy.
While the American work week is traditionally 40 hours, the average American works 48 hours a week. While an hour or two more a day may not seem like too much, it adds up quickly and, even more significantly, sets a dangerous precedent. If your boss or employees see you constantly working nine or ten hours a day, they will expect that from you more often and, thus, pile more work onto you. It also blurs the line between work time and personal time, giving coworkers the impression that you are available for work related things at any time. If you set a regular schedule for yourself and stick to it, you will find that your productivity increases and your hours decrease.
Whether you work from home regularly or not, it’s rare to keep your home completely separate from the office. You may have a late assignment, or an early conference call and you can’t make it to the office in time. In these cases, the best thing to do is have a space in your home that is dedicated for work and work alone. If your boss calls you at 9pm, step into the office. If you have to send an email, don’t do it from your laptop while sitting in bed. Physically separating where you perform work and where you live your personal life helps to psychologically separate the two and create a healthier balance.
Another reason it’s difficult to get away from work is because of the muddied waters of social media and networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. If you see what your coworkers are doing after hours, or new likes that your company is promoting, it pulls you right back into the office. To keep your personal and work lives separate, it’s best to keep them separate online as well. There is nothing wrong with keeping Facebook and Instagram for friends and family while using twitter and LinkedIn for professional networking. If you feel you need it, you could even have two separate accounts.
The simplest yet hardest thing to do is to turn off your notifications when you get home. Silence your cell phone, remove the notifications from your work email, and make it very difficult for anyone from work to contact you. If you have a coworker who is prone to sending work-related emails at all hours of the night, that constant “ding” from your phone will prevent you from having the healthy home life you need to be productive at the office. Unless you’re an on-call doctor or the only person who can fix a complete system crash, everyone will be fine if you answer their email tomorrow morning.
Keeping work and personal lives separate can be a challenge. Social media, quick and immediate contact, and workaholics may threaten to blur the line. But overwork can lead to decreased productivity, irritable moods, and burnout in the long run. Do yourself and your company a favor and make sure to recharge for the day by turning off the phone, switching gears, and focusing just as hard on your personal life as you do your work day.