Working from home (paying the bills), as opposed to working at home (paying the balance), is becoming more common in today's flexible work environment. Early results show that working from home for a company has many benefits for both the employer and employee. There is one major trap however in working from home, which can have a negative impact on our wellbeing.
The main challenge facing people who work from home is switching off from their work-life to their home-life.
For most of us, we leave home and go to a place of work, then return home. Each place has a specific designation in our minds which we adapt to. We switch on and off comfortably, or reasonably so, depending on whether we are at home or at work. Why is this transition easy, the location is different - home and work have different sights, different sounds, different smells, our senses pick up on these differences and automatically switch our thoughts.
NOTE: Not everyone can switch on and off dependant on the location, moreover some of us might have to work at both locations.
If we work for a company from our home, our home can easily become our work and we may find it harder to switch off in the evenings. There are ways to work from home and switch our brain on and off so that we can relax at home and not think about work, despite it also being our place of work.
Just like getting a good night's sleep, it is all about consistent patterns.
If you work from home, whether permanent or after you have left the office, have a single place that you call "the office". If you don't have an actual room designated as an office, it can be anywhere in your home, I suggest somewhere far away from where you relax or perhaps in the garage.
For those in the farming community or who actually live in the middle of their work, and don't have a physical office, choose a chair that is 'the work chair'.
When you enter that office/location or sit in that chair, say inside your head say - "Time for work!" When you have finished work and walk out of that office/location or stand up from that chair, inside your head say - "I'm home!"
Changing our patterns of behaviour can take a little time, often 60 to 80 days. However, if we bring together physiology (a physical action) and psychology (what we say or think inside our head), amazing things happen in a much shorter timeframe.
For those who come home from work, all you have to do to switch off is to walk inside your home taking a deep breath through your nose as you do so and say inside your head - "I'm home!" When you have to do work from home in the evenings, use the same technique described above. Note: our brain tends to switch on automatically at work without any actions whatsoever.
If you receive a work phone call while at home, go to that office or sit in that chair while doing so.
We once had clear delineation between work and home, those lines have now been eroded with advances in technology. Introducing them back is very effective in brining balance to our busy lives.