For many small business owners, working from home brings substantial savings in terms of office rental and other associated overheads. Eliminating the daily commute can also improve quality of life by removing the stress of traffic jams and overcrowded public transport. To maintain a good work-life balance, however, a disciplined approach is needed. Here are some tips to make working from home work for you.

Set aside a designated work area

If you don’t have the luxury of a separate home office, it is important to set aside a designated area for your work. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just clean and uncluttered, with minimal distractions. Somewhere you can walk away from at the end of your working day. As soon as you can, invest in an ergonomic chair – your body will thank you for it!

Get dressed

While it can be tempting to work in your comfortable sweats, what you wear can have important implications on how you feel about yourself. When you make an effort with your appearance, you feel more confident, even on phone calls. It also means that you are ready to take a video call from a client or leave the house at a moment’s notice. Try to find a balance between comfort and “work mode” – whatever your profession.

Be clear about your working hours

While the typical 9-5 may not suit your business model, it’s important to establish starting and finishing times each day. Stick to these times so that your work life doesn’t spill over into your personal life, resulting in burnout.

Get out of the house

Take a break from the house whenever you get the opportunity. Grab your laptop and head to a coffee shop with a good wifi connection. A change of scenery can stimulate the mind to think differently, which is important when you work alone.

Set clear boundaries for friends and family

Working from home may send the message out to your friends and family they can drop in any time for a chat. While it’s important to connect with people, this should be scheduled into your day, so that people learn to respect your time.

Exercise

A burst of fresh air can invigorate the body and mind. Schedule a lunch break into your working day and use some of that time to take the dog for a walk, do some gardening, or whatever it is that you enjoy the most.

Develop healthy eating habits

One of the dangers of working from home is the proximity to the fridge! Ensure that you maintain healthy eating habits by prepping your food so that you always have healthy options to hand.

Connect with others online

Working from home can be lonely at times, so it is a good idea to develop a strong support network. Social media has given us the opportunity to connect with like-minded people all over the world. If you can’t find a suitable group online, why not start one? Find people you can reach out to if you have a question, if you need a sounding board, or if you simply want someone to talk to.

Beware of social media

Yes, social media will allow you to connect to various online communities, but it should also be used with caution. How often have you logged on to have a “quick peak” at your social media feeds, only to realize that you’ve lost a couple of hours!

Finally…

Incorporating the above tips into your daily routine should help you to improve your work-life balance when working from home. If you are feeling overwhelmed and finding it hard to “switch off”, perhaps it’s time to delegate! If you need flexible, cost effective support for your business, please contact me to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.