How to work from home

Emma Page wears a duck egg blue sweater. She is smiling at the camera in a sunny room.

The best way to work from home

Working from home does not need to be the stress you might think. In fact, you might end up loving it if you follow these three top tips. It really is easy to create your perfect home work space and still switch off at the end of the day.

The view from my office today

Create a healthy home work space

When you work in an office or any place that is not your home, you get a clear break between your work life and your home life. You come in, the door slams shut behind you, and you change gear. This break is essential for your mental health.

You can still create a division between work and personal when you work at home. The trick is to set yourself some boundaries.

  • don’t work where you sleep
  • keep the place you relax separate from your work space
  • physically put your work away and clock out mentally

These three boundaries will help you mentally separate your work space and time from your personal space and time. You need to give yourself permission to stop work just as if your boss had said go home now.

My top personal rule is to never, ever work in my bedroom. My laptop is not allowed in that room. I try not to check email or social media for work in there. It is really important for good sleep hygiene, and therefore for your mental health, to shut the door on work and let your mind change gear.

Decide where you will work. If you have a spare room, turn it into your office today. Being able to shut the door on that workspace will help you keep a healthy balance. If you don’t have that luxury, then a lot of people choose the dining table or work at the kitchen table because it is separate from where they hang out with their partner or kids.

Even if you live in a studio flat, choose a part of the room that will become your work corner. Set up your work chair and desk (if you have them) or choose a seat at your dining table you don’t normally sit in. That will become your work spot. You can get up and leave it when you finish work.

Also, if you don’t have a home office then choose a drawer in your dresser that you can tuck your files and laptop into. Or invest in a storage box that is large enough to fit it all in. The key is to physically remove your work things from your living space at the end of the day. It is part of the way you can delineate the two parts of your day.

So that’s it. You don’t need to make a drama out of working from home and you definitely don’t need to invest in lots of expensive equipment. But find your way to keep work and play separate and you should be able to keep working from home for a long time. Or like me, make it your new normal.

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