How do you Draw the Line Between Work and Home?

It seems appropriate to discuss this topic as the news this week is focused on “returning to work”.   I wonder what that will look like for people, I believe it depends on our ability to be flexible, creative, careful, courageous, determined and considerate  as we  continue to work remotely or create processes for a sustainable remote/onsite system.

I was asked to contribute to a recently published online article here is the link to the article, the following is the full submission:

I am writing this while sitting at my desk in my home office practicing work-home distancing. Many of us are now fortunate to be able to continue working even as our regular workspace or office is on lock-down. I believe that there are several behaviors you can practice in order to be productive at work and relaxed at home, even when those locations are under one roof:

Create and follow a schedule just as if you were at your regular office.

If you would normally create a “to do list”, follow the practice of “time blocking”, or have a daily routine and work schedule, continue to follow it. Scheduling “me time” may be even more important in these stressful times, so don’t eat lunch at your desk and make sure to take at least 1 or 2 breaks during the day.

Create and use specific spaces or locations for work and daily living.

If you haven’t already done so, set up a really great office space if possible in a separate room or out-of-the-way area of your home. Equip it with a really good chair, table or desk, your work necessities such as computer, scanner, telephone, office supplies, etc.

Set your work or home life state of mind.

When you enter your “office” you are at work, I recommend dressing for the day either in office casual with proper grooming or in regular business attire. This practice will put you in the right frame of mind and you never know when you might have to jump onto an unscheduled video chat meeting.

Leave your work at work.

At the end of your scheduled work day, leave, both physically and mentally. I know it is tempting to check emails as you watch your favorite series on your laptop, but if you are sitting in your personal living area, make sure you are in that mind set as well.

Create a script for those work and life interruptions.

Extended tax filing deadlines does not mean that we accounting professionals are on vacation, nor are grant and loan deadlines, issues with filing for unemployment benefits, or concerns about promised stimulus payments an excuse to call our cell phones at all hours of the day and night.

I really do try to practice what I preach, but when I saw the caller ID pop up as the paycheck protection program loan acceptance notices started coming in from the banks I picked up the telephone to celebrate the great news with those clients of mine who were funded!

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