Working from home is the dream setup, isn’t it? Of course, many people have been forced to thanks to the pandemic, and while many people have found that remote work has its issues, many more people have really taken to the idea. It’s flexible, it’s convenient, it saves on resources all round, and it prevents you from having to commute 2 hours each way just to get into the office!
However, as we mentioned, working from home can have its issues. And when you’re a small-time business owner using your living room as an office, it can be hard to keep your working life and your personal life separate. You can’t seem to balance work and life away from each other, and far too many lines are being blurred. And that’s something we need to focus on right now – here are some ways to maintain that distinction between both your professional life and personal life.
Work a ‘Shift’
Working a shift is something you left behind you when you decided to run your own business, and there’s little chance you want to bring the concept back! But if you do, you’ll find that your work life and personal life become more separate than ever before.
So, decide your working hours. Maybe a typical 9 to 5? Or maybe you want to try the backwards 5 to 9? Maybe you need to start at 8 and finish by lunch? Whatever hours you’ve found to work best, in terms of communication rates, etc., should now be your ‘shift’ hours.
And during that shift, you don’t do anything else in your home. Nothing else! Of course, it might be hard to conceptualize in your mind, but try to have a bit of discipline here. You’re at work, and if you worked in an office, you wouldn’t be able to nip home just to put the washing out, would you?
Only Work in One Room
Only working in one room allows you the chance to spread out your professional needs; you’ve got a whole room for keeping files, any projects, and any tech necessary for the job safe and secure. And within this room, only professional talks occur.
Put a sign up on the door when you’re in there working, in case a partner or a roommate wants to knock and disturb, and ensure this is the only place where your business is run from.
In doing this, you ensure that the rest of your home is clear and free for your personal life. You don’t have to work with the potential of losing something in the clutter of all your personal possessions, and there’s no chance someone will throw out an important document by accident!
Outsource Any Professional IT Needs
Outsourcing your professional IT needs can really help you to feel like your working life is in another realm to your personal life, simply because you don’t need so much digital upkeep in the latter!
And while you can turn the wifi router on and off and move its position when you’re just using the internet casually, your business’ digital system needs a team to look after it – that’s already quite the distinction for making your personal life much more relaxing!
So, it’s time to learn about what is a managed service provider, as the more you know about moving your IT infrastructure out of your home, the better! Let someone else deal with it, and take that stress off of your shoulders. And remember, if you don’t have to face fixing up a website server each day, your home business becomes a lot less time consuming to manage.
Meet Clients Elsewhere
Finally, it’s a good idea to meet clients in a neutral location, specifically when you first meet them. If you’ve brought someone new on board, and you want to have that crucial sit-down, face-to-face chat, book a table at a cafe or a restaurant that’s nearby.
In doing so, you take that kind of pressure out of your home, and you allow yourself the space necessary for bringing in a new client without the potential for judgement on their part.
Of course, if you continue to work together, you can start scheduling meetings within your home, but putting up a professional wall for the first time can do wonders for your work/life balance.
If you’re despairing over not being able to keep your home life and your home business apart, it’s much easier than you think!