How to separate business and pleasure when you work from home

January seems like the ideal month to work from home – dark mornings, dark nights, cold busy commutes – who wouldn’t want to avoid all that?!

But when you work from home, it can be all too easy to blur the lines between work-life and home-life, which can not only kill productivity, but can also make you feel like you never get a break from work.

So here are five top tips to separate business and pleasure.

5 ways to keep your work and home life separate

1. Create boundaries

When working from home it can be easy to just take the laptop into the living room and do a bit of work while watching the TV, but this generally means things will take twice as long to do as you’re not giving any task your full attention.

So create boundaries, set up an office in the spare room or take over another room and use it solely for work purposes and shut the door when you’re at work – this not only blocks out external noise and distractions, it also lets anyone else in the house know that you’re working and are not to be disturbed.

And once the boundaries have been set, make sure you, and anyone else in the house, sticks to them.

2. Keep your equipment handy

Once you’ve created your office space, try to ensure that any equipment you need to use, including computers, telephones and printers, are all kept in the same area – if any of these are in another room you’ll find yourself leaving your workspace and leaving yourself wide open to any number of distractions.

3. Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination kills productivity – if you start thinking too hard about a task you’ll invariably end up taking forever to get anything done, that’s if you get it done at all.

And procrastination can lead your mind to wander and see you putting off your work to do any number of menial tasks around the house from making enough cups of tea to keep a football crowd quenched to cooking a full dinner for the whole family.

4. Get the conditions right

We all work best under different conditions – some require complete silence, while others go mad unless there’s at least a little background noise. And while some need office space to be completely minimalist, others can’t work in anything less than (slightly organised) chaos.

So make sure your surroundings make for a stimulating work environment – and if you’re easily overstimulated, stash things in draws or out of sight and just keep any essentials to hand.

5. See the light

Although it may be out of your hands, if you can choose a space to work in, try to pick one with as much natural light as possible – it only takes a little natural light to elevate your mood.

And letting in natural light usually means you’ll have a view of the outside world and taking a look outside every now and then can help to refocus the mind.

How a conference call can help you work from home

It’s easy to be kept out of the loop when you work from home, as those in the office hold meetings to discuss the latest plans and strategy. So why not jump into those meetings from wherever you are – all you need is a landline or mobile, and you can set up a conference call for up to 100 participants from anywhere in the world.

To find out more, go to

Have you got any more useful tips to help keep work life and home life apart? Let us know…

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