Workplace boundaries are easy to set when you aren’t working from home. Leaving the office behind after clocking out is not a time for you to check your email or respond to client calls. Working from home, on the other hand, presents a whole other host of problems.
It might be tough to tell when your colleagues are “on” and “off” when they work from home. When you’re always online, it’s not beneficial to your well-being or your productivity. It’s also a certain way to get yourself into a vicious circle of burnout.
Boundaries are like walls or limitations that you set up to defend yourself. To function effectively, you must establish and maintain rules to guide your actions and notify others about how you want to be treated. We’ll go through a few methods for establishing clear boundaries while working from home or elsewhere.
Set up a specific area for work
Establish a work zone for at least part of the day – a spot where you may be in office mode and others in the house know not to bother you until they need to.
It should preferably be a room with a door, but it may also be a designated area in a place that other people use or a limited place you put up and dismantle each work day. Create simple indicators to clearly define office workstations and limit intrusions if you have children home from school.
Observe your regular work hours
In these times of mounting joblessness and economic instability, no one wants to be regarded as not doing their share. This can be worsened by companies that view employees who work from home to be, in fact, at work all the time.
It is vital to oppose the demand to work additional hours, whether from bosses or oneself. Every workplace and profession will be unique, but you ought to strive to do the same work at home as you did in the office.
That might mean working your usual 9-to-5 or adjusting your schedule to accommodate homebound children or aging parents. Whatever your conditions, develop and keep to a timetable that works for both you and your company.
Take your regular breaks
Nobody spends eight hours glued to their office desks at work, and you shouldn’t either. Do what you’d do at your normal workplace: get up and move your legs regularly, get a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy lunch.
If your regular day at the workplace includes chit-chatting with coworkers, keep doing so. You can arrange things like that, or simply pick up the phone and call someone, as if you were passing by their workplace or bumping into them while grabbing lunch, and say, ‘what’s’ up?’
Don’t work more just because you’ve eliminated commuting time
Much of what is recommended for rookie remote workers, such as taking frequent breaks, falls under “replicate and simulate.” This entails emulating the routines and conditions that let you be happy and efficient at work at home. There is, however, no need to reproduce and recreate your two-hour commute.
You don’t have to get up at 6 a.m. and start working at 6 a.m. just because you have to get up at 6 a.m. for your commute. Make use of the extra time by reading, exercising, or engaging in some form of meditation that you haven’t done before.
Clocking out means logging out and disconnecting
Shutting it down is an absolute must. Turn off Slack, shut the computer down, and notify others. Change your status on workplace chatrooms to “away” and inform coworkers that, unless there is an emergency, you will not be replying to work communications until the following day.
Instead of departing your desk and traveling home, it’s suggested to do something tangible to signal the transition out of office time, particularly if it’s something you usually do when you get home. It may be a quick walk, a cool beverage, or cooking meals with the family — anything you regularly do to feel like you’re not on the clock.
Beware of boundary breakers
Whether others disregard or openly violate your boundaries, it’s better to have a strategy for dealing with them when they arise. This allows you to reply calmly instead of feeling upset or compelled to sacrifice your limits.
Boundary-breakers allow you to reaffirm your boundaries and what you need from your colleagues or superiors. So, if anybody oversteps the line, let them know right away. Don’t expect them to forget.
If your employees or superiors habitually violate your limits, you may be dealing with a toxic environment. If no one values your objective to achieve a good work-life balance, it might be time to seek new remote employment with a workforce that values your physical and mental well-being.