Working from Home? Be Sure to Establish Boundaries

"Stop" and a turn left arrow on the roadWorking from home is now a reality for more than 26 million people. It can be part-time or full-time, for an employer or as an entrepreneur. Generally, working from home is seen as one of the choice benefits that companies can bestow on employees, or as one of the perks of being self-employed.

How do you envision the typical day of working from home? Freed from a daily commute, do you perceive it as a leisurely day, complete with jammies and bunny slippers? Or maybe you think it entails flexibility to set whatever hours you want to in order to accommodate your loved ones’ schedules and your own preferences? Are those of us who work in home offices blessed with a better work/life balance because of this set-up?

Consider the downsides:

  • The constant interruptions from family members, pets, neighbors who drop in without notice.
  • The expectation that you will be able to promptly complete a variety of household chores (laundry, dishes, cooking, etc.) during the day because you are home.
  • The belief that you are more available to be a chaperone for your child’s field trip than someone else who has an outside office to go to.
  • The fact that work is always there!
  • (You can insert your own sticky points here.)

Recently, I participated in a discussion on an elist of career professionals about one other challenge to working at home – BOUNDARIES! Some of my colleagues had great suggestions on working around this particular issue with loved ones…

To read the rest of this post, go to the Bottomless Briefcase!

Many thanks to my colleagues for their contributions to this post:

Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley

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Comments

  1. Justin Lee
    Twitter: listings2012
    says:

    Hello Melissa,

    I have found working from home – successfully – the most daunting task in the whole wide world.

    I have found that you need a place away from home or at least separated by 3-4 doors and no intercom communication.

    Your wife, your mum, your children, the gardner the milkman and news man are all part of the parcel you will get at home.

    A very very interesting post I must say.

    Best Regards,
    Justin,
    SEO and Recruitment Manager,
    http://www.joblisting.sg

    • Melissa Cooley
      Twitter: TheJobQuest
      says:

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Justin! Yes, it is a challenge to work from home.

      Depending on the circumstances, it may be the only option. It is good to assess the situation realistically and make goals for your work based on that. As it was mentioned in the full article, setting and enforcing expectations are also very important to get everyone “on board.” It makes life much easier in the long run

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