Real EstateTips&Tricks March 16, 2024

6 Tips to Keep Work and Play Separate When You Work from Home

Working from home comes with lots of benefits, including flexibility, saving money on gas, and staying in your PJs. But setting up an office in your house means your work and personal life share space. It can be tricky to maintain privacy and set clear boundaries between work and play, leading to problems if you’re not careful. If you plan to work from home, use these six tips to keep your job and personal life separate.

1. Set Up a Dedicated Home Office

One of the best ways to maintain a clear separation between your home life and your job is to have a dedicated home office. If you’re fortunate to have an extra room in your house, this offers the ultimate privacy and clearest boundary between work and personal life.

 But if you don’t have a spare bedroom or similar area to convert to an office, create a defined workspace. It could be a designated section of the kitchen, like a breakfast nook. Or your dining room can do double duty, functioning as an office by day and a dining area by night (or just for holiday dinners).

The important point is to have a set place where you do your work in your home. Staying consistent helps maintain the delineation between work and play.

2. Use Privacy Screens or Curtains

If you set your home office up in a shared space, like a dining room or a corner of the family room, privacy is still essential, although more challenging. Use a room divider screen or hang curtains to separate your office area from the rest of the space. Not only does this give you a sense of privacy, but it also makes it easy to hide your work mess when you have company.

Other options for hiding your office space are tall bookcases. You can use double-sided bookshelves with storage on each side, or use regular bookcases with finished backs.

The shelves face your office to provide necessary storage. The backs of the shelves face the shared area and can provide a surface to hang artwork, creating a false wall.

3. Create a Clear Schedule

Separating work from play isn’t all about the physical arrangement of your space. To be productive, it’s also critical to have a clearly defined work schedule and share it with everyone in the household.

 Once you determine your workable schedule, stick to it. Act as if you’re going into the office even if you’re simply walking down the hall. Consider your lifestyle and the activities and habits of others in the home when you create your schedule, so it has the best chance of success.

4. Don’t Do Chores During Work

To help reinforce the sense of work and personal life being two separate entities, don’t mix the two. In other words, as tempting as it is to get laundry done while you’re working on that spreadsheet, don’t do it.

This doesn’t mean you can never take advantage of working remotely to get some chores done. After all, for many people, that’s part of the appeal of working from home. But craft your schedule to include time slots for other tasks instead of doing chores and work simultaneously.

For example, you may work from 8 am to 11:30 am, break for a 30-minute lunch. Then allot 30 minutes to do dishes and get a meal going in the crockpot before you get back to work at 12:30 pm.

5. Define Clear Boundaries Around Office Hours

When your work day is done, act like it. If you don’t bring work home from the office, don’t take it from your kitchen table into your bedroom. Set clear start and end times for your day and make sure your coworkers, bosses, employees, family, etc. know them.

Often, if people know you work from home, they may assume that means you’re available 24/7 to answer emails or work calls. Politely tell them your work hours, set an away message on your email, and do whatever it takes to keep things separate.

6. Double Up on Electronics

If you have the room on your budget (or perhaps your job will foot the bill for you), get separate electronics for work. Don’t use your personal computer, phone, etc. for your job.

Using separate electronics makes it a lot easier to keep work and play separate. It can also help productivity, since you won’t be as distracted during work hours by personal emails, phone calls, etc.

All Work and No Play Is Not What Remote Working Is All About

If you work from home, it doesn’t mean you’re supposed to work more than you would if you went to a physical office every day. Of course, how much and how often you work depends on your job description and expectations. But you shouldn’t put in longer hours simply because you work from home.

However, you could easily put in too much overtime if you don’t set clear boundaries. Without a set schedule, you are likely to devote a lot more time to work, and your personal life pays the price. Create a separate work area, stick to a schedule, and make sure everyone else is clear on your hours. It takes consistency and discipline, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes for you to work from home.


To visit our previous blogs, click:

Visit to see what CBH might have to offer you!

To learn more about Coldwell Banker Hearthside, visit: