Working from home or living at work? How to keep the balance

We have now been working from home for a year. Yes, a year! Time to review how this is working for us. So the big question is:  are you working from home or living at work?  In this article I will help you check where you are on this and I will share with you my top tips to ensure you keep the balance right.

Working from home or living at work?

Let’s do a quiz to assess the situation!

Working from homeLiving at work  
Are you logged on for more hours than you used to spend in the office?Nope. Logging on at 9am and logging off at 5pm, just like I used to do.  Yes, I log on when I get up and stays on until bedtime.  
Do you turn your work laptop off?Yes, I turn it off after I logged off.Only when prompted to re-start the laptop to allow it to update.  
Is your work phone always on?No. I turn it on and off when I log on and off.  Of course. And it never runs out of battery either.
Do you accept calls outside of working hours?Only if it is a true emergency.  Well… people know I am at home so what’s the harm in having calls at 8am or 6pm?  
Are you working at the weekendNo. I put the laptop and the phone away!Not really, but I keep an eye on emails and I log on if something comes up.  

Do you know where you are yet? Does one column resonate with you more than the other? It’s ok. You can lie to me. But you can’t lie to yourself or the people living with you!    

I like how these people put it too:

How to keep the balance

Set boundaries

And it starts with you. You need to decide where the limit is. Maybe you are ok working an extra hour here and there because work is really busy. Whatever you choose to do, let’s make sure this is a conscious decision.

If you are enjoying this article, you might enjoy this one too:  How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are | Andrew Solomon

I am not here to judge. If you want to work all hours for one reason or another, go for it. But somehow, I doubt that this is what you want if you are on this blog…

Remember the 3 steps of setting boundaries from How To Put Yourself First At Work (Without Losing Your Job)?  

  • Decide what the boundary is
  • Communicate the boundary
  • Maintain the boundary

Mind the gap

If you have been working really hard and long hours, and you suddenly work your contractual hours, it might be a bit of a shock to your system, and you might not know what to do with yourself.

So before you address the situation think about why you want to do it:

  • What is motivating you?
  • Do you know what are you going to do with the extra time, the extra peace of mind?
  • What are all the things you haven’t had time to do for a while that you would like to tackle?

I’ll show you mine:

  • Multiple DIY tasks around the house that have been pilling up over the last few months – I wish I could blame the 30 days challenge for this but I can’t
  • Mow the lawn – MUST MOW THE LAWN
  • Declutter the house
  • Read the pile of books that sit on my bedside table
  • Walk more – don’t worry I have been exercising, just not walking enough
  • Cook more   
  • Be lazy – contrarily to popular belief, one of my favourite activities

This is what is currently on hold while I am doing this challenge. I mean, writing an article a day takes time, right? Something had to give and it was not going to be sleep!!

Try these simple hacks and let me know how you get on

So tell me, are working from home or living at work? What works well for you? I’d love to hear your stories. Let me know in the comments.

Further resources

My favourite books on productivity so you get it all done without working long hours 😉

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss

This article is part of the series Happier At Work, which you can find here.

And remember, happiness is a choice, and you are in charge!

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