Even after a year of COVID-19 pandemic and remote working, are you still struggling to strike an efficient balance between your home office and life?
Run a white-noise machine to mask household clatter, make your noisy neighbours aware of your work schedule, and resist the temptation to check work-related technology after logging off at the end of the workday can help you maintain a productive home office, suggested the researchers from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
“A key challenge most people face when they work from home is how to effectively navigate the boundaries between their work life and home life, all while continuing to be efficient and productive in their job,” said Timothy D. Golden, Professor at the varsity.
“The need to be able to adeptly manage the boundaries between work and family is absolutely critical today,” he added.
In the article, published in the journal Organizational Dynamics, Golden identified four areas — physical, behavioural, temporal, and communication — that must be considered in order for employees and managers to successfully set and manage boundaries between work and home life.
Other tactics include setting allowable limits on household noise, starting and ending your day at consistent and regular times, and — importantly — having expectation-setting conversations with family members or those living in the home, Golden recommended.
“You’re in a different physical and mental space when you’re working remotely or in the home domain,” Golden said.
“Communication becomes particularly crucial when you’re immersed in the home environment to balance everything successfully,” he noted.
There are two types of remote workers: “segmentors” work best by keeping a rigid distinction between their personal life and job, while “integrators” are at ease mixing together their work and home responsibilities.
To work successfully at home, individuals of both types must erect and maintain boundaries to match their desired comfort level, Golden said.