Separating Home and Work When You’re Remote Working

Separating Home and Work When You’re Remote Working - UCAN Blog. Get organised. Spacesaver. Neat and Tidy.
Separating Home and Work When You’re Remote Working - UCAN Blog. Get organised. Spacesaver. Neat and Tidy.

More than 50% of South Africans are working from home presently. Since COVID, remote working has become the norm for so many, but this has also come with a massive adjustment in routine. Although working from home cuts out the daily commute, many people have found that they are actually working more than they would if they were going into the office.

On the other hand, some people have struggled with productivity, getting easily distracted by doing household chores and tasks. Separating home and work when you're remote working can be difficult but keeping a happy balance can be achieved by developing a healthy work routine.


Allocating a work area

If you have space in your home, even if it is just a corner of the living room, it is important to allocate a specific area just for our work. Sitting with your laptop on the sofa might be a short-term solution, but this is an area that is for relaxing, not for working. The sofa isn’t a supportive chair either if you are looking at a computer all day.

Choose an area in your house to be solely for work, so that you are keeping it separate from your home life. Put up a small desk and suitable chair, so that you can replicate sitting at a desk in your office.

Transforming a spare room

One survey done by industry experts Regus, found that 36% of people working from home were concerned that it didn’t come across as professional to customers and clients. They felt that household noises, family voices and pets often disturbed work calls and online meetings. If you have a spare room, it would be a good idea to transform this into your home office, so that you have a professional space to work in. Painting your spare room in cool, neutral colours will look neat and will come across well in an online meeting.

All you will need are a few simple painting supplies, such as brushes and sandpaper to do a good job. It's essential that you make sure that the wall behind your computer is clean and presentable for Zoom/Skype meetings. Within your spare room, remove anything that is going to be a distraction from work and install furniture that is ergonomically suited to your job.

Considering technology

When you are working from home, good internet access is essential. If working from home is slowing down speeds or using up your allocated data, it is worth speaking to your internet provider to see if they can improve this. You will also need a cell phone to communicate with clients and colleagues.

To define the separation between work and home life, it is worth getting a separate phone for work, rather than giving out your personal number to customers. It also means that at the end of your working day, you turn off your work phone, so that you are not taking calls during your personal time.

Keeping a good work routine

Developing a good routine is key if you are going to achieve a healthy balance between your work and home life. If you previously worked 9-5 in an office, then stick to this. Set your alarm every day for the same time and begin work on time. Make sure that you also take regular breaks away from the computer. At the end of your working day, try and avoid doing overtime and instead mentally draw a line between work and home life.

When you are working from home, it is important to strike a balance so that your work doesn’t seep into your personal life. Allocate a specific work area and get into a good routine and it will help you have a productive day.