For many employees, working from home is becoming a new reality of their career -- although how much they work remotely can depend on their job, their company and their boss.
Yet, no matter how much an employee works from home, there is always the dilemma of how to set boundaries so that work doesn't encroach on family time and vice versa.
If you're going to work from home and need some parameters:
1. Stick to a schedule. Some days this won't be possible -- a kid gets sick or the Internet at your house goes on hiatus. But as much as possible, set a schedule just like you did at work: you have a specific start time, a lunch break and end your day at a certain time. This can be tough at first since you don't really have a bus to catch at a certain time in order to get home, for example. But set these times in your mind, and even ask a family member or friend to hold you accountable in the beginning.
2. Dress the part. No one is saying that you have to dress in a suit to work from home, but if that puts you in the right mindset, go ahead. Do change out of your pajamas and take care of your daily hygiene before starting work -- this has the ability to click your brain over into "work" mode.
3. Communicate on all channels. Make sure your schedule is clearly posted for everyone at work to see: your scheduled meetings; when you plan to be at the gym or taking a kid to school; and when you plan to quit for the day. You need to post this where everyone can see it such as on a company online calendar, on Slack, etc. If your routine schedule changes, then send additional emails or leave voice mails to alert everyone to the alterations.
4. Be dependable. If you set a schedule, stick to it. Nothing is more frustrating to colleagues or bosses than not getting a response when you're supposed to be available. This doesn't mean you have to respond within 10 minutes to their inquiries, but it does mean that you can't be out-of-pocket for hours with no explanation.