Where did my weekend go?
In another post, I discussed the problems home workers have with getting out of the house “I’m at home, get me out of here!”. One major aspect of working from the home is the clear distinction between work and non-work related tasks.
Firstly, both from personal experience and those of my clients, a definitive line between work time and non-work time needs to be drawn. This will depend a lot on your own circumstances and attitude towards work:
- Do you feel it is appropriate to work in the evening?
- Do you feel it is appropriate to work at the weekend?
- Are there family commitments to deal with?
These questions need to be asked and answered as a family “team” to allow for clear guidelines for the next step.
Secondly, agreements need to be made to decipher what are acceptable “working hours” for the home worker. I am aware of the argument around how many hours is enough for the self-employed or business owner, and will not address that in this post. It is important the family unit agree what is acceptable, so that everyone is clear about when is work time, and when is play time.
For a home worker, there can be little difference between week and weekend. Some will even say that one runs into the other, and Monday comes around again before they realise a weekend has actually passed. Is this healthy? Would you agree that everyone needs time away from work? Some would argue that if you do what you love, it’s a paid hobby and not work. As I mentioned earlier, that depends on one’s own attitude towards work.
Lastly, a clear area should be laid out for the working area. A dedicated room, an extended garage, or solid structure in the garden will create a proper workspace for the home worker, and help define the working day and working week. A corner of the sideboard in the kitchen or dressing table in the bedroom does not qualify as a definitive workspace. It needs to be separate.
And with everyone knowing the boundaries, plans can be made and adhered to without someone being left disappointed. We all have a role in harmonising family life, or life in the home.