How Do You Finish Each Workday?
Setting Boundaries For Working From Home Donegal
As the dust is settling somewhat after the covid pandemic, some significant changes in our lives are being taken forward. Central among these is the adoption of hybrid working practices. It’s almost the norm now for people to split their time (where it is possible) between working in the office and remotely.
For many people, this is a welcome change in their lives – greater flexibility and avoiding the dreaded commute. But it doesn’t come without its challenges, and one that is raising its head more and more is the challenge of finishing work at the end of the day. For too many people, work is just sliding into their evening personal time. So, what can you do?
Setting Boundaries For Working From Home Donegal | Set your work hours
While many will argue that they don’t have set hours in the office each day, in reality most people have a routine – some are very early starters, others begin a bit later and work on at the end of the day. When working from home, these routines are redundant so, it’s time for some new ones. When you are working remotely, you should consider what hours work best for you, your employer, your colleagues and your family (and not necessarily in that order). You should identify your target finishing time, so that everyone around you knows when you’re working or you’re not. The first person who needs to then respect this is you, while of course being flexible as needed within your work.
Setting Boundaries For Working From Home Donegal | Have a finishing routine
When you go to the office, you likely have a routine when finishing work. It might be locking the office door or maybe getting a certain train home. When you do this, your workday is over and family time begins.
You need a similar routine when working from home, and you then must repeat the routine every day. So, whether it’s closing the door of the home office, turning off the PC or laptop at the end of the day or something else that you do each time, stick to the ritual. This is really important, not just for you, but for your family. Your kids need to know that you’re finished working and now it’s their turn for your attention.
Setting Boundaries For Working From Home Donegal | Tell those who need to know
Of course, a problem is that colleagues may have different routines – for example their routine may have them working later into the evening. While respecting the need for a reasonable level of flexibility in your approach, make sure your colleagues are aware of your schedule, including your finishing time. You might have to remind them from time to time, but you should be clear about unwanted emails after your finishing time. They should not expect an answer that evening, but that you’ll respond the following day.
Yes, there will be exceptions where a colleague needs your immediate attention and engagement. Agree a process for this – maybe they phone you first?
The key to working remotely in a way that suits you, your colleagues and your family is to get work done while at work, and not just let the lines blur between work and your home life. It takes a level of structure and establishing routines, but it’s worth it – get it right and your quality of life increases considerably.