Working From Home – Knowing When to Switch Off

Working from home has, in the recent past grown to be an increasingly popular option with several organizations. This option works well not just for individuals who are more productive working out of the comfort of their homes, but also for the organizations offering this option. Saving on the cost of maintaining a workspace is only one of the host of benefits the employers get. Several studies conducted on the benefits of working from home, for employers, have found that employees tend to take less number of days off, are more productive, and are generally more satisfied – which amounts to big bonuses for the employers.

In some of our previous posts, we’ve discussed a host of issues relating to work from home – including benefits, dos and don’ts, and tips on how to be more productive when you work from home. In this post, we speak about knowing when to switch off, when you work from home. As relaxing as it may sound, working from home can be quite the opposite. And in fact, can end up being more stressful than a regular 9 to 5 job, because when you work from home, you are always at work! There is always something to work on, always that “just this one thing to finish”.

Maintaining a work-life balance is essential even when you work from home. Switching off when you work from home can be tougher than working from an office. Here are five ways to help you know when to switch off.

1. Don’t wait for the trigger

It is not surprising that our outlook towards most things takes on the garb of a responsive/ corrective approach rather than a preventive approach. In other words, we always tell ourselves that should there be damage we can always go into the damage control mode. How about we prevent that damage by looking out for ourselves, instead of waiting for the trigger?

2. Practice Mindfulness

One way of preventing a burn out, when you work from home is to practice mindfulness all through the day. The underlining principle of practicing mindfulness is to first of all to practice awareness. Being present in the moment throughout the day is a way of never letting yourself wait for the trigger. While this may sound difficult to practice, with a bit of time and patience you can master it.

3. Maintain strict work hours

The reason why it is mostly difficult to switch off when you work from home is because you are always in your ‘work place’. When you have an office to go to, you know work time is over when you turn off your system and drive home. When you work from home however, switching off may not always feel that easy. Make it a point to maintain strict work hours through the day – just like you would if you weren’t working from home. Start at 9 and switch off at 5. Remember that there will always be that one extra thing to finish off, but ask yourself if it’s really that important that it can’t wait.

4. Have daily rituals

Having before and after work daily rituals is a great way to help you switch off from work on time. Making meditation, some exercise and reading a part of these daily rituals is a great way to have yourself look forward to switching off. Make sure that you go out for a short walk every day after work. This prevents that feeling of ‘being holed up’ all day. When your home is the space you work from, feeling ‘holed up’ is the last thing you want to feel. Having simply daily rituals anchors your day and boosts your productivity by preventing burn outs.

5. Learn to identify the triggers

The first thing we spoke about was to not depend on triggers for switching off from work and tuning in to yourself. However, knowing how to identify triggers is also important. It can be hard to take notice of these if its been a while since you’ve turned your focus to yourself. If you are feeling jittery, unproductive and dissatisfied – these are some definite signs. It is like your mind is turning on an alarm for you to pay attention to what it wants to communicate to you. Which is, to switch off from work and to tune in to yourself and give your soul some pampering.

Do you have problems switching off, when you work from home? What is your tactic to handle this problem?

Post by Shreeradha Mishra
Shreeradha is a development professional who loves her work. She is an avid observer of life and enjoys penning down her experiences and learning from the world of work. You can get in touch with her at

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