Work From Home Tips: Personal-Professional Boundaries
Employees should meet the performance criteria set by the organization to ensure the quality of their work. To meet the standards of the organization, employees need a working environment that allows them to work freely without problems that may restrain them from performing up to the level of their full potential.
Work-from-home (WFH) – we are in this for the long haul. Question is, how do WFH employees establish a long-term work environment that is productive, effective, and safe? Combined with the recent interest in flexible working patterns, the home environment has been an increasing focus as a place where we work, live, shop, and seek entertainment.
How WFH switch your roles at home? Is it possible to separate work and personal life? Have you managed to strike a balance between your personal and professional lives? We acknowledged that not everyone had the luxury of a separate room to work in, so a table and chair of any sort would suffice, even if it meant sitting in the middle of your living room with your loved ones or housemates doing the same thing, trying to etch their own little corner to attend back-to-back virtual meetings or classes for school. The risk is substantial. The lines between work and non-work are blurring in new and unusual ways. So how can employees continue to compartmentalize their work and non-work lives, given the extraordinary situation that so many of us are in today?
1. Space: Keep A Dedicated “Home Office”
Design a space to work (a home office), and not working in a space designated for the family. Remote workers who work only in a home office are much better able to transition between their work and family roles than those who work in the dining room or bedroom. This also makes it easier to stop working once one decides to transition to the family role, thus helping to reduce stress. If you can’t get a dedicated space you can separate from the rest of your life, try to find a niche space you can use that is out of the rest of the household’s way — and they out of yours — as much as possible. The integration or separation of work and home spheres is determined by how people negotiate the boundary between the two; a dedicated space, office equipment, and office hours.
2. Time: Temporal Boundaries
It is commonly advised that remote workers follow the hours of their typical workday (9:00 – 5:00) and stop working and transition to family and personal time at the end of their workday. It’s challenging even for employees without children or other family responsibilities, thanks to the mobile devices that keep our work with us at all times. Maintaining office hours is to keep employees on a schedule. If you do not maintain regular hours, your home and work life is more of a tendency to blend. Working from home can be very stressful without consistent hours because the work is always present. Having defined start and end work times is an important boundary to separate your home life from work. Read our previous blog about how you manage your WFH timing.
3. Social Boundaries
Homeworking afforded some level of flexibility in how you used your time, which allowed you to balance the responsibilities of your paid work with your responsibilities of care for others. The responsibilities included the care of spouses, children, older people, or disabled relatives as well household tasks, such as cleaning, washing, shopping, gardening, and paying bills. Home-based workers who do not create social boundaries are often interrupted during their work and family time, which creates stress and makes them feel ineffective as an employee and family member. To create social boundaries in one’s home, it is often necessary to communicate expectations with one’s spouse and children and to also ensure that one is following these expectations when it is time to transition to the family role.
Ultimately, the clearer the boundaries you draw — all three, in space, time, and social — between your work life and personal life, the better you can keep the two comfortably distinct. Broadly, these time and space differences also mean that you are more likely to experience distractions and interruptions, given that you tend to allow work and family activities to coincide. We, Recruit Hero are in this together with you. Reach out for help if you need any. Don’t forget to keep updated with other tips for working from home by following our social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Also, for those who are whether already job searching or are newly laid off because of coronavirus, good news for you! We provide you the resources you need to find the job and company you love during this uncertain time. Register at Recruit Hero today!