I absolutely agree that setting those boundaries is a top priority when working from home.
It's also important for employees who work from home to follow those boundaries themselves. While it's seemingly easy to get comfortable and think about doing household type things while working, they are still an employee and have a job to do.
This is where having a separate space, preferably a room with a door comes in handy. When the door is shut, everyone in the house knows that work is in progress and the employee can better separate themselves from the hustle and bustle of the daily household.
This is so true! Over the years, even though I keep the door to my office open, I have found that my family has adapted to my work-at-home schedule. It helps me to have speakers so I can play music while I work to keep me on track, and if the laundry isn't in my eye-space, it's easier to focus on work instead of thinking about all those domestic tasks I could be accomplishing.
Suggestions to new employees who work from home:
1) Be firm about boundaries.
Many people — neighbors, friends, telemarketers — assume you’re available 24/7 because you’re home. If you’re over 45, they think you’re retired.
Decide how you’ll deal with calls during your work hours.
(2) Consider joining a coworking space.
If your budget permits, a coworking space makes a better workspace than a coffee shop. You can put on your earphones and work steadily.
In most spaces, you’ll be left alone if you look busy. It’s like the Quiet Car: no phones or conversations. I prefer the background noise, with headphones.
Ask your accountant if it’s tax-deductible.
3) Schedule around your own productivity pattern.
People who work best in long spurts need to clear their calendars. They might schedule client consultations all together in one day, go to the gym after hours,
hire a dog-walker and arrange for reminders so they won’t miss important meetings (and lunch).