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How to Take a Break from the Office When you Work from Home

Here are 8 tips to help make the necessary changes to be able to face this challenge and transition from work life to home life - 

  1. Set out a time schedule for yourself.  Obviously working from home gives you flexibility.  However, without the discipline of a time schedule, you will not find the balance you need.  It will be difficult to say when work ends and relaxation begins.
  2. Factor in some errands or household chores to break the schedule. Using some home life scenarios as breaks will help you feel grateful for the flexibility of working from home.
  3. Set up a google calendar or online work schedule to share with work colleagues or other friends who may be working from home.  This makes you look and feel more professional.  Leaving the office may not be a physical walking out, but a mental closing down time.
  4. Get ready to go to work and at pack-up time or break time have a proper break. Take a walk outside, make yourself a snack, text a friend, or read something different from your work situation.
  5. Try to have a workspace.  The ideal would be a room for your office.  If this is not possible try to screen off your workspace.  It will make sure you can differentiate between home time and work time.
  6. Take a walk or move around out of the office area.  Sign up for an online exercise class and walk or dance to music.  It is important to take time out from your computer screen if you work on a computer at home.  Shut down when it is time and put some time and distance between you and the computer.
  7. Have a proper lunch break.  Keeping the routine and walking away from the office space will give you the feeling that you are getting out of the office and having a nutritious lunch is important.  Don’t eat in front of your computer because your body will not feel it has had a break.
  8. The most significant part of balancing work and home is to avoid the temptation to check work emails or conversations after hours.  Do not take work-orientated communication to bed. The end of your work day needs a firm boundary in place and leaving the office means packing away all work-related things. You need to create a barrier between workspace and home space.

Put it into practice - 

The most significant part of the transition from work at home to home is probably the schedule.  Having a timetable or schedule allows you to be kind to yourself and respect the boundaries you have put in place.  Knowing it's OK to leave your office and have a snack or a break and then finally close down at the end of the day.  The schedule enables you to mentally move between home and work, at home.