Several health issues are involved when it comes to having home office boundaries. At first such boundaries may seem selfish. However, those who are working at home will appreciate the benefits.
To protect ones health, a person working at home needs office boundaries to reduce stress. Stress can cause an increase in blood pressure and is thought to weaken the immune system. Make a choice that reduces stress.
When setting boundaries for a home office, you may feel uncomfortable setting some rules. Remember, while working from your home office, boundaries will help reduce stress and protect your health. If you have set hours in your office, be sure to tell anyone who would consider disturbing you during that time what your hours are. Let them know you will be glad to see them or speak with them at any other time.
If you have family members home while you are attempting to work, be sure their needs are met before you start work for the time you have set to accomplish what you need to do.
Use caller ID to identity callers, and voice mail so the unanswered calls will go to a place where messages can be left. Include what hours you are in the office, making it clear you are there but working. You will know when friends or family call your work line, and being able to leave a message will let them know they aren’t being ignored.
Let family members know what is off limits in your office. If supplies are for work use only and not to be removed from the space, say so. If others may use items, let them know that things have to be returned so that your work will not be interrupted. Be sure to be clear about anyone who uses your computers. Sometimes it is easy for someone to inadvertently undo a project you have been working on for hours.
Using a sign on your office door that says you should not be disturbed may be a bigger help than you think. Display a sign that says when you can be interrupted on the office door so family members know when it is okay to barge in. Be sure to let everyone know the ground rules for the times you are on the phone or if you have a client in your office.
To protect your health-when you take a break from work in your home office, leave that room and close the door. If your break includes a few minutes of family time, make the most of it. Don’t talk about work, or about how you have to hurry through the precious moments you have with them. This may help reduce stress.
Post a schedule on the bottom of personal emails. This will also serve as a reminder to others that you are actually working. Somehow those of us who work from home are often thought of as not having a job.
To establish healthy boundaries for your home office, be creative. Put an attractive sign on your front door that states you are busy at work, or that you should not be disturbed until after 4 o’clock-or whatever your stop time is. Include details for UPS or others who make deliveries to your home.