Research shows that we don’t automatically develop good strategies to separate out work and home-based technology use. Those who do work from home, need to develop good psychological detachment strategies, to help them reduce anxiety, stress and overall mental wellness. These strategies can include:
- Carving out a specific work-space, including work stationery and equipment that is dedicated to work alone.
- Closing all work-related notepads and laptops at the end of the workday and workweek, ensuring they remain closed until ‘officially’ starting the working day again.
- Creating a ‘transition zone’ where you spend a few minutes between work and home life (you can use this time to write down a work based To-Do list for the next day) or develop a particular ritual that helps signal to your brain that work is done and now it’s time to focus on and enjoy home life.
- If possible, having a separate work phone that gets left on silent or switched off within the dedicated workspace after official working hours are over for the day or week.
- If a separate work phone isn’t possible, having a conversation with supervisors or work colleagues around expected response times to emails and work requests – especially when these are sent outside of official work times. This may require switching off email notification settings to reduce the temptation to check emails after hours.
- Making every effort to remain ‘fully present’ on home life outside of working hours. Jotting down any random work thoughts or things you need to add to your To-Do list, so you can park them until working hours.
Everyone will find their own strategies for helping to separate out their work and home life, but making every effort to keep work life and home life separate gives the mind and body time to rebuild lost energy, catch-up on lost sleep and build better relationships with family and friends.