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Finding the balance working from home

With more and more people working remotely some or all of the time, the concept of a 'home office' has expanded. But how can we make sure that there is a healthy separation between work and leisure?

Have a work ‘spot’, no matter how small.

Ideally you’d have a home office with a door that you could close when you’re not working. Realistically not many of us have that luxury, particularly when living in cities and renting.  However having a designated spot to work from, even if it’s simply a specific side of the table, can make a huge difference to your work mentality. Having a place that you can sit that indicates ‘I’m at work’ puts you in the zone to concentrate. Avoid sitting there for other reasons, even to eat your lunch.

– Buy a TV

Reducing screen time is very much the recommendation these days, but realistically the majority of people enjoy watching a film or series at some point. But if you’ve been staring at your laptop for 10 hours for work, there’s something a bit less enjoyable about settling in to watch Netflix on the same screen. Whether you buy a state-of-the-art smart TV or something more basic, having separate devices avoids work and home bleeding into each other, keeping business business and pleasure pleasure.

– ‘Commute’

Whilst we all know that long commutes can be the stuff of nightmares, we should also give them credit for the way that they break up the day. Commutes give a clear differentiation between the portion of your life that is ‘at work’ and ‘at home’.  Even though you’re not going anywhere, try to incorporate a ‘commute’ into your day – leave the house first thing to go to the gym, take the dog for a walk, get a coffee or simply walk around the block. Do the same thing once you’ve stopped for the day to establish the same division in your home-working day and signal your brain to turn off or on.

– Change it up

Investigate co-working spaces or work-friendly cafes near you. There are many spaces available free of charge, or for the price of a couple of coffees. They’re a great way to maintain separation between your work and home life with the added bonus of opportunities for meeting people and networking. There’s also no need to commit – even just one day per week in a new environment does wonders for creativity and allows home to just be home. 

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