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Home or Office? How You Succeed in Separating Work and Free Time at Home

Working from home offers many advantages – but of course, it also has its challenges. Separating your job from your private life, work from free time, is, at least spatially, not as straightforward as in a workplace where attendance is mandatory. With these four tips, you will succeed to draw the line between your job and personal life, even when working from home.

31 March 2023
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Living and working at home: This concept represents a great opportunity for more self-determination and flexibility in everyday life. Provided you create the right conditions at home. Especially in your home office, the transitions between working time and free time seem to be particularly fluid. Because of this, it’s even more important to create boundaries, to consciously adhere to them and, if necessary, to actively enforce them. After all, a consistent separation of work and private life is central to your health, well-being and motivation. According to a study by the University of St. Gallen and the health insurer Barmer, people who actively manage their boundaries when working from home experience 14 percent less stress. As a result, they feel up to more than 10 percent more productive and psychologically more able to work than the rest of the respondents.

A clear signal. But what does this insight mean for your everyday home office life? With these four tips, separating work and free time works like a charm!

Spatial Separation

First of all, it’s important that you set up a fixed workspace within your four walls and pursue your work exclusively there. This puts you in work mode immediately when you are in this space, and you can take your mind off work better and faster, when you leave it. This was also confirmed by the study cited above: 55 percent of respondents stated that a strict separation of work and living space should be maintained when working from home, for example by means of a fixed workstation within the living room or, ideally, a separate home office. In any case, you shouldn't share your workspace with family members or roommates to avoid distractions and unnecessary disruptions.

At yoummday, your own workroom, which needs to be separated by a door, is even a requirement to become a freelance talent in customer service. This is the only way to guarantee the professionalism, concentration and data security required in the communications industry.

Temporal Limitation

Temporal separation of your job and free time is just as important as the spatial one. Be aware of your working hours and, if you can, determine them for yourself. Usually, you know best at which times of the day you are most productive and when you prefer to work. Use these phases and incorporate them into your workday consciously. With yoummday, you have complete freedom of choice because here you create your shift schedule all by yourself.

As soon as you scheduled your working times, stick to them! This means: During work hours, you shouldn’t let any personal issues distract you, whether it’s in your home, at the computer or on your phone. This includes seemingly small things like turning on the washing machine, answering personal messages or scrolling through private social media channels. Of course, this strict separation applies the other way around as well. So don't answer any work-related e-mails or business calls after work. It's best to simply turn off all your work devices and professional channels.

Open Communication

Strict temporal separation works best when you communicate your work hours openly to the outside world. Something that sounds so simple and obvious is a big challenge for many people who work from home: According to the respondents themselves, only less than half of them are able to clearly communicate their preferred working hours. In this context, it’s all the more important not only to keep track of your working hours yourself, but also to communicate them to the outside world in a targeted and self-confident manner. If your professional contacts as well as your family and friends know when you are working, you are less likely to be distracted at work and disturbed in your free time.

Good communication also entails to be able to say no sometimes – both professionally and privately. This means: Don’t casually agree to extra tasks or shifts after your workday ended, but also don’t answer spontaneous calls from friends while you’re working. This way, all your professional and personal contacts will know when they can reach you and when they can’t.

Strictly separating your accounts

Granted: Digital ways of communicating and new media don’t make the strict separation of our jobs and private lives any easier. This is because increased networking in many cases also involves the intersection of professional and personal end devices, contact data or platforms – ranging from computers or laptops and cell phones to mail accounts and social media profiles. This makes it even more important to actively counteract this intersection: If possible, use different devices for your work and private life and make sure you set up different accounts. During working hours, you should mute all your private devices and profiles – and vice versa. This way, you can successfully separate your work and private life online as well.

If you follow these four guidelines, you won’t have any problems in consciously managing your work and free time, even when working from home. yoummday supports you in this by creating the ideal framework conditions. Here, fully self-determined time management and your own, lockable home office are the standard right from the start. You want to become a freelance customer service talent, work from home and independently plan your time and enjoy it actively? Go ahead and apply free of charge and without obligation at yoummday.com!

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