View Full Version : Setting Up Home vs. Office Boundaries

01-18-2014, 04:10 PM
There are some difficulties which are specific to home businesses which other kinds of business do not experience, at least not in the same way. Thatís why itís very important to set up boundaries for space and time. For example how much of your home will be used? Will it be only an office that you use or will other common areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, or living room be used as well? Then you must consider how much time will be spent solely working as opposed to when youíll be accessible to your friends,spouse or children. While youíre typing away at the computer will you be simultaneously doing a load of laundry, cooking dinner, feeding the baby and answering personal calls or will you be isolated in a quiet haven for uninterrupted blocks of time? Set specific guidleines which will work for your type of business and expectations, some ground rules if you will. If not then anything goes And you certainly donít want anything flowing into your business. Make a realistic plan to separate yourself from distractions without neglecting your other responsibilities.

01-20-2014, 04:54 AM
I definitely agree on this one. :)

Personally, I have not set-up a home office but not because I don't want to but mainly because I don't have that extra space in the house. So instead of a designated home office space - I have a working schedule that allows me to concentrate on my online work like when the kids are at school or when they are at sleep. :)

01-20-2014, 02:04 PM
I completely agree with you eppie. I have the same issue. I have 5 kids in my tiny house, and no where to properly set up my home office. Right now, I am on a laptop with a sleeping toddler on my lap. Sometimes I have to work like this, as well. All part of being a parent, I guess!

01-21-2014, 09:50 AM
Yes, I also think that this is very important. You don't want to start viewing your home as an office. This can lead to more stress, and not being able to relax when you are home. You should have any office space, and choose so many hours a day to go to "work". Obviously, where it's a home based business it is more flexible, and if you want to work on your business for two hours and then go to do laundry and house work for a couple of hours, you have the ability to do that. I think you just really need to define these barriers for yourself and what you feel comfortable with!

01-21-2014, 03:04 PM
I am lucky enough to have a spare bedroom that I use as my office. I love it because I basically only work in here. If you don't have a special room to dedicate as an office, you should at least set up a corner of a room or something for working in.

01-21-2014, 09:20 PM
I always think work from home come with both advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages obviously include the flexibility in working schedule and cost/time saving.

The greatest disadvantage I see is the distraction as OP had mentioned too.
When we are at home, there are many things can distract us from focusing on the work. It's the very reason my mother who is a university professor prefer to spend most of her free time on the campus away from home. You know the professors don't have to stay on the campus aside during the classes and office hours... Using her own words "It's hard not to touch here and touch there when I am at home". There are way too many things can be distractions. (I can ensure you that I was not one of the distractions haha...)

Then again, it's really depended on your will. I am sure there are people who can still do their work just fine in a "not so good" working environment.

01-21-2014, 09:22 PM
I agree with you. It's important to set guidelines to your work space at home. For me, I like to set certain hours that I will spend working. Otherwise my work online will get clouded with hulu, netflix, youtube, and other online recreation. It's important to set hours just like a real job. The only difference is that you choose which chunk of the day you want, and be empowered to guide yourself to success!

01-21-2014, 10:51 PM
When I first started working from home, the biggest problem I had (time wise) was family and friends thinking that if I was at home, I had free time. Friends would drop over unannounced for tea and a chat. Family members would plan things for me to attend. It took quite a while for me to make them realize that even though I was at home, I was indeed working, and would not be available to them until the evening or weekend.

Setting boundaries early is very important. I now have no interruptions during the work day. :)

01-24-2014, 11:46 AM
Working from home does require boundaries. There are those distractions especially if a person has children. Then the phone calls from family and friends. I had to make a cautious decision to tell friends and family not to call between certain hours unless there was an emergency. I had to talk with the children and even the husband and let him know that when I am on the phone talking to clients or working on the computer that noise should be at a minimal. I use to be a telephone mystery shopper and it would be at those times when I was on the phone that they would practically break the door down and interrupt important calls. My husband would walk in on me and be loud maybe playing with the children or something and this became quite annoying. I had to set up some ground rules if working from home should work for me.

01-30-2014, 03:50 PM
I used to struggle with this as well, now I work while the kids are at school and once I pick them up I am done for the day. I do all other chores or other things that need to be done after I pick up the kids. I did set up a home office to separate the space. I can't stand it! Just my opinion but I still use my laptop and work where I want each day! That just works for me!

01-31-2014, 07:01 AM
I think the best solution is time restriction. You should set your schedule from work and stop working when you are done! From 8 to 16 for example and at 16, DONE! Its the only way to make it work :)

01-31-2014, 08:00 AM
Yes. Setting up guidelines to follow is an integral part of running a business whether it be home based or office based. People who pay attention to their work ethics, time consumed and the work done will most likely become successful in whatever they do. Time management is essential in running a business and maintaining it to its optimum potential. More and more people are now discovering the wonders of time management and its about time we do too.

02-01-2014, 06:40 AM
It depends. My girlfriend can get upset sometimes because I work at home too. Sometimes it is necessary to do some extra work at home so I don't mind. I like to be busy and don't waste time so I can't just watch TV, I have to be doing something else while watching TV and doing some work is great to improve my efficiency.

02-05-2014, 08:53 AM
When I first started working from home, the biggest problem I had (time wise) was family and friends thinking that if I was at home, I had free time. Friends would drop over unannounced for tea and a chat. Family members would plan things for me to attend. It took quite a while for me to make them realize that even though I was at home, I was indeed working, and would not be available to them until the evening or weekend.

Setting boundaries early is very important. I now have no interruptions during the work day. :)

I feel your pain because this is what happened to me early on! I had to explain to my friends (who understood pretty quickly) and my family (who now get it, well almost :). It took me a couple of years to make my relatives understand that this is like any other normal work except I'm doing it from my home! Some of my family members understood faster than others that are still not getting this. My grandma keeps planning reunions and things for me to do without asking me first. She just keeps expecting me to come because I "don't actually have a job" as she says. I love her and I usually go along with it but sometimes I just have to invent stupid excuses just to escape some of these things. I may have a great head pain or a fever and can't attend. Please don't tell her I'm actually working :))!

On another note, I work in my living room. I have a desk and my PC there and as I don't have any kids yet I can work pretty much anytime. This is in itself a great danger because of procrastination that can kick in at any time. I try to set a clear schedule for myself and some basic goals for each day. For example, I might plan to work from 8 AM to 12 AM and in this time I have to reach 2-3 goals. This ensures that I will actually be working and not browsing Facebook or who knows what. So I think it's not only about working for a certain period of time, but also being responsible for reaching your set goals.

02-06-2014, 01:09 PM
Very good point, and I agree. I think either one is not more difficult than the other, it just takes a different plan of attack and a whole lot of planning and discipline. I work from home and I try not to allow disturbances, but at the same time I try not to be too strict with them as well when they do happen. My reason behind it is that it's why I chose to work home in the first place anyway, so I can be more present to my family. My biggest weakness isn't disturbances from other people, anyway. I'm more distracted by my own little hobbies and interests and since I'm at home and am my own boss, it's just way too easy to take longer breaks, so I just keep myself disciplined when it comes to that.

02-06-2014, 05:03 PM
I put off getting a office away from home for a long time just because I liked that "work from home" convenience and not having to pay for office space. But now, I have an office and was able to barter my services, in trade for the office, phone and color copier. It's a great deal. I wish I would have done it sooner.

02-15-2014, 06:29 AM
After initially trying to work from the dining table or out on the terrace on a sunny day, I soon realized that I had to set aside a room in the house to use as my home office. I get distracted easily enough as it is, so having a designated working space is essential for me if I'm going to get the work done without interruptions! We're all different though, and I know many entrepreneurs who like to sit at Starbucks or other cafes with their laptops and work. I just wouldn't be able to concentrate on real work if I had all that noise and movement all around me - even when I worked in a corporate office I insisted on having my own corner, then I managed to wrangle an office with a door I could shut!

02-26-2014, 10:24 AM
Yes, I agree. You need to have some sort of boundaries in place to be more productive in your home business. But I do think that these boundaries will vary from person to person. There are so many different variables to our lives that it would be impossible to say we all needed the exact same boundaries. For example, I no longer have children in my home. So this is not a concern for me. I do have a husband that does not like to feel ignored, though! :0)

02-26-2014, 02:08 PM
I agree that you definitely have to have boundaries in place if you want to be successful while working at home. It's too easy to slack off on the Internet or get caught up in doing chores or hanging out with your friends and family.

02-26-2014, 04:58 PM
Using a room as an office or work space can help quite a bit. It's especially important with children or roommates in the living space. By isolating yourself from potential distractions, you'll increase productivity.

02-27-2014, 02:17 PM
I have a corner of my main room dedicated as my workspace. Unfortunately I am unable to have the computer in that spot, but otherwise it is self contained. I use to computer to fire emails back and forth, but it is not directly required while I work. I like being able to grab something off the shelf or out of the filing cabinet without having to step away from my work zone. In this way I feel that when I am at my desk, I am 100% focused on working and not getting distracted (as I am prone to do) by all of other things going on. I live alone, so it helps having no other people to interrupt me.

02-27-2014, 09:33 PM
I came across this challenge previously as a telecommuter for my 9-5 corporate job. Even though it was great not having to commute to the office, I still had to juggle work/ personal life and find necessary balance. Transitioning from corporate to a work at home entrepreneur, more than ever boundaries are established. I stick to a schedule and routine from sun up to sun down. I'm not working my business all that time but my family know at what time I am working vs. attending to their needs. It's helpful to have "office" space in order to really get away and focus on the task at hand. For everyone it will be different due to circumstances. But boundaries is a MUST.

02-27-2014, 10:34 PM
I found out recently that it's best if you set your home office apart from places where you can slack off. Not long ago I use my own room as my office, and it's hard to get myself to focus and concentrate on the job when there's a bed just next to me. And keep yourself away from television as well. Well, unless your work need you to be up to date on news or certain channel. But one more the benefits of working at home is you actually get more inspiration if your job involves writing. Walking around, doing laundries, checking on what the kids are doing, then the ideas and inspiration just keep coming in!

02-27-2014, 10:54 PM
I do agree that working from home requires boundaries. For me, I have a room that is set aside as the home office. During working hours, I would hang a sign on the outside of the door that says, “I’m working! Please knock before entering.” As such, I'm able to concentrate on my work without much distractions from my family members.

I also keep to a 9 to 5 schedule, much like office hours. In my opinion, that is the toughest boundary to obey, since working from home makes it easier for you to work throughout the day. You should definitely spend time away from work with your family and friends.

02-28-2014, 01:40 AM
Great way to post out the pros and cons of having a home-based business! I definitely agree with your post.

People should really be aware that it may be good to save on some rent, however, it may mess with your personal life. It is very important to send boundaries. Personal life should be separated from how you do work, however, people have a problem of having it intertwine.