Separating Work from Home When you Work at Home

Keeping your home life and your professional life separate when you work at home can be a real challenge. If you fail to set enough boundaries, your work life can run right over your home life, leaving you feeling pressured to keep working and unable to enjoy the time with your family you would like to have.

Depending on the age of your children, there are many things you can do to make working at home a little easier to keep apart from the rest of your life. If you can spare the space and equipment to set things up separately you can make things much easier to keep apart.

A dedicated work space is perhaps the most important item. You need somewhere that you can get work done with minimal interference. Ideally, this means a room you can close off to use as your home office, but not everyone has a room available for a home office.

You’ll need rules about your office. Can the kids interrupt you freely? Can you have younger ones bring in toys to play quietly so you can work while still supervising them?

A separate work computer once again is ideal but not achievable for everyone. A work computer allows you to have a machine that you don’t have to compete with anyone else to use. If you need to keep files confidential it is much easier to do so on a private machine than one shared with your family.

Your home office will also need to be able to store anything you need to get your work done. Think about filing cabinets, storage for supplies, room to meet clients if relevant.

A separate telephone line or cell phone is vital if you receive business phone calls. You don’t want to have to worry about your children answering your business calls and you don’t want to have to worry about keeping your home line free for important business calls.

All of these have the advantage that you may be able to take tax deductions on them as business expenses. Consult with your accountant to find out how best to handle this.

There are more ways to keep your home and home business life separate. One of the best ways is to keep regular working hours. Scheduling yourself can help you to feel more professional, and to know when you need to work on your job or business or things with your family or around the house.

Working at home isn’t the picnic some imagine it is. The more seriously you take it, the more likely you are to succeed. The more carefully you think about what you need to keep your home and work life separate, the better chance you have of doing so.

Some people also find it helpful to dress professionally. This is much a matter of personal preference. Some people finds that it makes a big difference in how well they work while others don’t care.

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[tags]working at home,family,home office setup[/tags]

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