We are moving to more and more remote options for our job and career. However, we need to set work boundaries if we are going to enjoy long-term success. These constraints on our schedules will help us find a balance between work and other areas of life. Your family will thank you, and so will your general health.
Physical Work Boundaries
Our work environment is an essential ingredient in our success. There have been numerous studies on ergonomic environments and how they help us. Our physical comfort is important at home as well as in the office. Unfortunately, we often give up true comfort at home for ease and other reasons.
For example, many of us will sit in bed or on a couch, trying to do some work on a laptop. This is not often a comfortable way to sit for hours. That can lead to all manner of physical pains and long-term issues. We need to think about being comfortable in a position for long stretches of time.
It is easy to blur our workday into the entire day when there is no official start or stop time. Remote work makes it easy for us to start when we feel like it, take random breaks, and wrap up when we feel like it. There are tasks to be done. However, it is easy to stretch out our day, lose focus, and generally get less done. When we give ourselves designated start and stop times, then we have constraints on our day. We can focus on work during those work hours and then get away outside of that time. There is a benefit to firm work hours even when you are at a home office.
Balancing It All
The elephant in the room is notifications. We have far too many ways to be notified that someone has a question, text, or email for us. Those can be minor interruptions or derail a quiet evening. We need to silence our devices when we are outside of work hours. While there are some exceptions, most of us can perform our job requirements perfectly within normal work hours. There is no need to be available 24/7.