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Why You Can (and Should!) Take a Day Off When You Work at Home


Here's why you should embrace the occasional vacation day and not feel guilty about it.

When you worked in a regular office, you used up every single one of your vacation days. Woke up with a fever? You didn’t think twice about taking a sick day. Now that you’re working at home, though, you find that you’re working continuously with few days off. While it’s admirable to have an awesome work ethic, you might be setting yourself up for failure if you don’t take a day off every now and then. Here’s why.

You Need to Recharge

As much as you totally love your work-at-home job (and the amazing work-life balance it gives you!), you still need to take some time off. After all, if you’re tackling mountains of work day in and day out, you can easily burn out, whether you like your gig or not. Taking a day off or fitting in a vacation can help you become a better worker by giving you some distance—and some much-needed objectivity—about your job and your career. You may find after a few days that there’s a much more efficient way to maximize your workflow that up until now you haven’t taken advantage of. Either way, taking some time off can help you think of the big picture—and help you to relax, too.

It Creates Boundaries.

As a busy working mother, you clock into work faithfully every day at 9:00 a.m. and clock out at 5:00 p.m. You’re dependable, trustworthy, and reliable. These are all excellent traits for employees to have, right? Of course, but even though you want your boss to have faith in you and your performance, if you never, ever take a day off, your boss may grow accustomed to you working every single day. But if you take a day off from work (to tackle those never-ending errands or to simply spend the day with your kids), you show your boss that you respect yourself enough to invest in your own well-being. Then, when you do ask for time off (for a vacation or just a couple of days to recharge), your boss will be more willing to grant your request. If you respect the boundaries between work life and family life, your boss will too.

It Puts You in the Right Mindset.

Many telecommuters are reticent to take a day off from work because, well, they can’t really justify it. While a head cold might keep you from heading into an actual office, you may find that you’ll sneak onto the computer in your home office, if just for a little while. Because when you work at home, you’re never really sick enough to not work, right? Wrong. Similarly, some people who work from home might feel “lucky” that they have the best of both worlds, and feel the need to “make up for it” by working extra hours and never asking for a day off. It’s imperative to remember that working at home, while sadly still a luxury for many employees stuck in an office, is not a workplace perk or a favor from your boss. Whether you’re in an office or working at home, you only owe your employer the very best that you can offer. By taking some time off for yourself, you’re ensuring just that.

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