Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards improved work-life balance by finding a job that allows you to work from home. But between the kids clamoring for your attention, your husband asking you to pick up his dry cleaning since you’re “home,” and working from your dining room table, telecommuting has proved to be harder than you thought it would be. But there are ways to make working from home work for you.
Give Your Home Office a Home
It can be hard to work from home if you're working from your kitchen one day and your bed the next. In order to create a better workflow (and to save your sanity), you need to establish a spot that will be your permanent home office. If you’re short on space, you don’t necessarily need to have a separate room (although that would be great!). Find an area that doesn’t have heavy traffic in your home—you can even convert a garage, an attic, or a closet into a functional and chic office space—and work solely from there.
Set Boundaries with Your Partner
When you told your partner that you would be working remotely, they were thrilled. After all, you would be home to take care of the kids and the house—and provide a good income, too! But what your sweetie needs to realize is that working from home is just that…working. Whether you have a part-time or a full-time telecommuting job, remind them that you are working during specific hours of the day and can’t make a supermarket run. It’s up to you to reinforce your own rules, so don’t cave when they call with a request while you’re working.
Find Some Kid Care
If you thought that working from home meant that you could work and take care of your toddler, too, think again. Having a telecommuting job comes with a slew of perks (including saving thousands of dollars annually, eliminating a costly commute, and gaining a calmer way of starting your work day, among many others), but foregoing child care is unfortunately not one of them. Even if you work from home, you should have child care in place in order to be more focused and productive while you work.
Working from home can be tricky at first, but once you set up the necessary steps, you’ll find that it is the best way to work in order to have the work-life balance you deserve.