Do you find it challenging to establish boundaries while working from home?

If so, you're not alone! 58% of participants in a remote worker survey shared that the lines between work and personal life are blurred.

An animated graphic of a person falling asleep at their desk. Their laptop reads,

What can you do to stop your job from taking up your personal time while working from home? You can establish boundaries!

Meet Joanie, a Remote Worker

A woman smiling into the camera. Photo by alex starnes on Unsplash

Joanie is a software engineer.

Recently, her department moved to a remote work environment. Joanie wrote the following list of pros and cons regarding things she has noticed since working from home.

Emoji happy face icon

Pros of Working from Home

  • extra time to spend with friends

  • more flexibility throughout the day

  • no commute or sitting in traffic

  • less fuel and travel expenses

  • spending less money on lunches and coffee

Emoji sad face icon

Cons of Working from Home

  • the workday doesn't seem to end

  • often still dressed in pajamas at 3pm

  • checking email, even on days off

  • often feeling sore and tired

  • feeling overwhelmed with daily invites to coffee chats and virtual lunches

Joanie needs boundaries!

4 strategies will help her find a better work/life balance while working from home.

1. Set Up a Home Office Space

Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash Photo by Collov Home Design on Unsplash

Joanie needs a dedicated office space to provide separation between workand home. Without this, her entire home becomes a workspace.

Icon illustrating a female working on her laptop with a cup of coffee/tea on the desk

What Joanie needs to set up her home office space:

  • an entire room, a closet, or a corner of a room

  • a quiet environment that is clean and where she can work best

  • an organized workspace with personal pictures, music, a pet fish, etc

  • an ergonomic setup to reduce muscle soreness and increase energy

2. Create a Work Routine

A clock Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

A proper work routine will help Joanie to be productive, promote energy, and improve her work/life balance.

Icon representing a female juggling work and life balance

Joanie can create a work routine if she:

  • gets dressed in comfortable work clothes each morning

  • has morning coffee, tea, or breakfast

  • stays hydrated throughout the day with a water bottle

  • sets designated work hours for her needs

  • takes a regular lunch break away from the office

  • takes short morning and afternoon breaks

3. Establish Personal Time to Avoid Burnout

A man sitting in a car while telling the passenger,

To avoid burnout, Joanie needs to develop work boundaries that respect her personal time while working from home.

Icon depicting female texting and emailing on smartphone To prevent burnout, Joanie can:

  • turn off her email and phone notifications outside of work hours

  • remove her work email from her personal phone

  • set away notifications outside work hours

  • use her paid time off days throughout the year

  • schedule social time with friends and family outside of work hours

Sharing her work schedule with family, friends, and co-workers will ensure her work time is respected!

4. Find Balance With Coworkers

A computer screen filled with the pictures of meeting participants. Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Setting boundaries with coworkers will allow Joanie to feel less overwhelmed when she receives daily messages for coffee chats and virtual lunches.

Icon representing a family dining together

To set social boundaries at work, Joanie can:

  • decide on a set number of coffee chats/virtual lunches per week

  • set away notifications on work communication platforms during breaks

  • create a polite "No" template that she can copy/paste into messages to turn down requests for her time

  • plan lunches with her family and friends away from her office

⚡Help Joanie Create Some Boundaries

A man saying,

After a long day of meetings, neighbors dropping in unannounced while she was working, and a late night working to meet a project deadline, Joanie is ready to make some changes that will improve her work/life balance.

Here's a reminder of Joanie's "Cons of Working from Home" list:

  • the workday doesn't seem to end

  • often still dressed in pajamas at 3pm

  • checking email, even on days off

  • often feeling sore and tired

  • feeling overwhelmed with daily invites to coffee chats and virtual lunches


What action can Joanie take to create boundaries while working from home? Select all that apply.

Take Action

Are you ready to create some boundaries while working from home?

A man telling his co-workers


Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

Get support to take action on this Byte