Setting Boundaries while Working from Home

a green green plant on a desk in the backdrop of a work from home setup

One of the first challenges I encountered when I started working from home was – well… distinguishing work from home.

When you live in a tiny home with three other people, separating personal space from conjugal ones is already a challenge. But with quarantine and this “new normal”, everyone is either working from home or online learning. Things get a little bit more difficult.

Not to mention, there’s the issue of setting up your work space. And I don’t mean physically setting up your work space – I mean the mental kind.

The first few weeks, it was tough to get into the headspace of “working”. That I’m not just “at home,” I was “working at home”.

One time, I was almost late to a mandatory webinar because I was lounging in my bedroom and inadvertently fell asleep. It wasn’t a huge deal but it was enough to push me into action.

So what did I do to distinguish work from home?

Physical boundary

When I’m sitting at my work computer, I am “working”. Once I am inside my bedroom, I am “at home”.

I don’t sit in front of my work PC during the weekends. And I never stay at my bedroom during work hours. If I want to take a break between work, I lounge in the living room.

Time boundary

My work is very time-conscious. Most of the time, we have to meet tight deadlines. With working from home, it’s easy to work “overtime” and over the weekend because your PC is right there. You just have to turn on your computer and you can finish tasks.

It’s great but I’m also aware how it may not be sustainable in the long run.

Which is why I try to separate my “work” hours and “non-work” hours.

Sure, sometimes I do work overtime. But I keep in mind that I am working overtime, and that this is cutting from my free time – just like it would in pre-Covid* circumstances.

*I was gonna say normal circumstances but who are we kidding. At this point, we’re in a Twilight zone between what is normal and what isn’t.

Another thing I avoid is turning on my computer when I am “on leave”. (And yes, I still make use of my leaves even only for a day despite not actually leaving for anywhere. Normalize wellness breaks!)


I already know boundaries are important. But during this pandemic, I find they are imperative especially when you are working (or learning) from home.

Are you working or learning from home? What challenges have you encountered and overcome?

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Photo by Nielsen Ramon on Unsplash

Comments

i work from home and well i started off sooo bad… i would start off just. doing nothing. nothing! but now i have definitely changed.
its important to place these boundaries fr or else you will drown in like.. confusion of what is work and whats not

For sure! Especially since a lot of us are not used to working from home, setting that boundary is helpful.

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