Work Boundaries for Home Office


Setting up healthy boundaries for working for working at home

Do you work from home- either full-time, or like many of the people I know, part of the time?  Then you need to set some boundaries for yourself and for your family/roommates if you are to succeed.  They include the working “rules”, the space, the hours and the exceptions.

First, you need to set up working rules that everyone agrees to.

This can be difficult, if you have smaller children at home, or if your partner is home most of the time, too. You will have to be strict, especially at the beginning.  You may have to work when most people are out of the house, or find a way to signal “Do NOT disturb” to the others.  You will have to choose the whatand the how.  Mostly, you will have to make your rules follow-able for all. That also includes you!  Watch out, or you will not get as much done as you need.

Second, you need to define your working space(s).

Where is your “work stuff”? Will it be a private office where you can shut the door, if necessary?  I have a colleague who is in transition and he has a to the three room apartment, including the kitchen.  When a client comes, his wife goes to the bedroom and waits.  This is not ideal, but until they move, it is what has to be done.  I have a winter garden that works as a coaching and conference room and my own office. For me this works.  Also, I have a few places I can rent when it is necessary to be in or closer to Zürich.  But mostly I like sitting on my sofa and working in a cushy comfortable environment. You get to choose.

Working hours are important to set, otherwise you can while away your time.

When I am not teaching I try to keep 9-5:30 as my work day with lunch and a dog walk break.  I try and keep these hours with phone calls, with (work) emails, and such.  This does not include my reading, which I usually do in the evening and at the weekend, neither does it include social media presence, which is done at breaks or “off-hours”.  What it DOES include is writing and thinking and reflecting and all the normal work needed to be done.  Today, for instance it includes writing this blog, sketching out a podcast, working on my new vision board, and many other things.

Make sure you have grace in your rules for exceptions.

There will be seasons, breaks, and ups and downs.  You will get sick, have funerals to attend, and people who are not just “work” people to see.  Allow for them as you plan your week.  Otherwise you may miss out on what you REALLY need to be doing.  I usually look at my next week on Friday and on Monday and CUT out things.

So, what does your working at home boundaries consist of? Set up something now.

Have a productive and fulfilling week!

Patricia Jehle

Ps- I invite you to my LinkedIn group, SMEs Grow Together, here: