Telecommuting has a lot of benefits – but if you feel like working alone is taking a toll on your mental health, you’re not alone.
Spending a lot of time alone with only yourself for company can be an isolating experience. If you are a freelance worker, the pressure of managing your finances and juggling multiple clients can also leave you feeling less than mentally healthy. Separating your work life and your personal life can go a long way towards helping you manage stress and maintain your inner calm. Here are four ways you can do that:
Create dedicated working hours – and stick to them.
When you work from home, it can be hard to know when to call it a day.
If you’re constantly working (or thinking about work), set some boundaries so that you can enjoy your personal time guilt-free. Figure out how many hours you need to work every week to meet all your deadlines and expectations, and set up a schedule for yourself. Take those hours as seriously as you would if you were going to work outside your home.
Have a designated place to work.
It’s can be hard to be productive when you’re working from your sofa – or worse, your bed – although individual mileage can vary! Carve out a workspace in your home that you don’t associate with relaxing. Alternately, try working in a library or coffee shop instead of your house.
You would get regular breaks working at an office job, so don’t forget to give yourself a little time to decompress when working from home, too. Do some stretches, make a cup of tea, or take a fun quiz online – whatever helps you refocus your energy. Taking breaks can actually help you get more done in your designated working hours, so you can relax during your personal time.
Stay social outside work hours.
When you don’t have co-workers to chat with or work functions to attend, it’s easy to neglect your social life. But humans are social creatures, and not spending time with other people is bad for your physical and mental health.
Make an effort to go out regularly with friends and do things completely unrelated to work. If you live with a spouse or children, set aside an hour or two every day to spend with them.
It’s all too easy for work to bleed into your personal life when you work alone. You can prevent this from happening by structuring your work hours wisely and giving yourself permission to stop for the day once you’ve hit your goals. Staying socially connected during your non-working hours can also help you maintain good mental health, both on the job and in your personal life.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.