It’s Not Business. It’s Not Personal. It’s Both When You’re Setting Boundaries as a Remote Tech Worker.
When your office exists in the same place as your bedroom, kitchen, laundry room, and living room, the boundaries remote tech workers need to set between home and work time can be critical to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. For all of its upsides, remote work presents many challenges for tech workers who can unhealthily and unproductively blur the line between their personal and professional lives.
Boundaries remote tech workers in Dallas, Phoenix, and across the nation establish between these two worlds serve many purposes. Such limits prevent their job obligations from following them 24 hours a day. They help employees make time for self-care and wellness. They ensure that spouses, kids, friends, and family get undivided attention and time needed for strong and healthy relationships. And boundaries also help keep employees focused, productive, and engaged during those hours they are on the clock.
Here are four boundaries remote tech works should incorporate into their work from home lifestyle.
Remote Tech Workers Boundaries: Have a Workplace to Go To
Perhaps the best way to separate work from home is to do so physically. Whatever the size of your home or its layout, find one dedicated room or area that you claim as your workspace. Let those you live with know that when you’re there, you’re on the job and they should treat you as such. Hang a “Do-Not-Disturb” sign on the door or the back of your chair to remind folks to leave you alone.
To the extent you can, keep your workspace away from where people frequently congregate, such as the kitchen. Set up a desk as you would in your office or cubicle and use the space exclusively for work.
Have a Daily “Commute”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a remote worker who misses being stuck in traffic or shoehorned into a crowded commuter train to get to and from their office. But for many people, that time allowed them to catch up on the news, listen to their favorite podcast, read a few pages in a novel, or just zone out. It was time that marked the transition from home to work and vice versa, allowing folks to psych up and wind down.
Now that your commute consists of a staircase or a hallway, find a way to recreate that mental transition. Go for a brisk walk at the start of the day and when you clock out. Read or listen to things that bring you happiness, inspiration, or enrichment. Drive to a nearby coffee kiosk, grab a coffee and call a co-worker and chat casually about non-work stuff.
Dress Up Or Dress Down. Just Get Dressed.
When the work dress code changes from business professional to entirely your own, feel free to take advantage of it. If you prefer to work in sweats, shorts, yoga pants, hoodies, and t-shirts, do so. But you can make that all-important transition between work and home more real just by getting dressed in the morning rather than starting work in what you wore to bed. Of course, you’ll want to have a dress shirt or blouse at the ready for those Zoom meetings, even if you’re wearing shorts out of camera range. You don’t want to become another Zoom meeting wardrobe fail on the internet!
Clock In and Clock Out
Of all the boundaries remote tech workers establish, distinguishing between work hours and personal time can be the hardest. When technology allows superiors, coworkers, clients, and others to reach you 24/7, it is up to you to draw a line in the sand as to when and whether to read or respond. When there’s always more work to do and your desk and computer are only steps away, it requires discipline to keep your job from taking over your life.
If your Dallas, Phoenix, or nationwide company expects you to work and be available during specific hours, do so. If you can work when you like, do so. But whenever that time you set for work ends, turn off your computer, silence your work email, text, or Slack alerts, and direct your attention to the rest of your life.
And make sure to still take a lunch break! It can be tempting to work through lunch and eat at your desk, but just as you’re required to take a lunch break at the office, do so at home as well. That hour mental shut off will do more for your productivity than working through it.
The Boundaries Remote Tech Workers Put Up Shouldn’t Include Limits on Their Opportunities
Whether you are a talented tech professional working from home or you spend your days in an office, GTN Technical Staffing can help connect you to the job you want. Contact us today to learn how we can help you move your career forward, no matter where you work today.