The Pitfalls of Working From Home

People who drive into the office everyday often are jealous of the work from home crowd. If you work at home, you don’t have to struggle with traffic and deal with co-workers stinky meals. You may even work in your pajamas if the mood strikes.

But working from home is not all hanging out in your pajamas and sleeping in late. The common trap that many of these people get caught in is the inability to stop working. It’s hard to transition from work when you work from home. Often professionals who work from home will find that they are still working and it’s already midnight. Having a good work/life balance is essential for everyone and when the lines are blurred between them, things can become ‘caddywhompus’.

However, there are things that people who work from home can do to remedy this for their own mental health.

  1. Set up a time for your “close of business”: Be sure you set a time to end work. No matter what that looks like for you. It could be a regular 9am to 5pm, or 12pm to 8pm. Just be sure that you stick to it and shut your computer off when your day ends.
  2. Do something for yourself: After you turn off your computer for the day, make sure you do something for yourself. This will help your mind switch between work and your personal life. It doesn’t have to be something grand. It can be watching your favorite TV show, or working out. Just make sure you do something so you “reset” your day.
  3. Leave the house: When you work from home you can easily end up spending the majority of your time at home. So, it’s crucial that you notice this is happening and leave the house. Make dinner plans with your friends or go hiking. You should do anything to ensure you don’t go all week without leaving the house. That’s just not healthy.

Overwork results in stress, whether you work from home, in an office, or out in the field. The key to keeping your sanity, regardless of how you work, is to reserve non-work time for yourself. So what happens if you can’t force yourself to shut off the workday? Maybe it’s time to contemplate returning to the office, where there’s always someone around to shut off those lights and chase you out of your cubicle.

Posted on: 06.08.12