Just as you finally get home, ready to put your feet up after a long day at the office, the dreaded email alert tone shrills from your smartphone and before you know it you are remotely logged-on working from home again. Although there will undoubtedly be times that you can and should be taking the time to work from home, it is important to know when it is not necessary and could be causing more harm than good. Follow our tips below so you can switch off from the demands of email when the time is right.
- Put your out of office on – and stick by it!
Whether it’s a long weekend at home or the vacation of a lifetime, you set your out of office with the best of intentions. However it’s difficult to ignore the craving to keep yourself in the loop. Even if you absolutely must check your emails try not to enter into any conversations or send replies, no matter how much you think it might be helping. Chances are that any issues or queries can be resolved without you, and it will mean you can spend time recharging your batteries so that you are more rested and effective when you return.
- Leave your smartphone at home
If you’re fortunate enough to have a cell phone you can use exclusively for work, try to leave it at home when you go out for the evening or even away on an overnight break – it’s the best way you can escape from the lure of checking email whilst you should be relaxing and enjoying your time away from the demands of work.
- Take notes by hand
You power on the laptop late at night to make a couple of notes for the next day at work, but then the dreaded notification appears in the corner of your screen: 12 unread messages. Before you know it you’re deep in a conversation about something that could have waited until you were back in the office in the morning. If you really need to jot down a quick note try doing so with old-fashioned pen and paper. That way you’ll be far less likely to be prompted into doing any unanticipated extra work.
- Know when to stop
Just because you might work from home doesn’t mean you should always feel like you’re at work in your downtime. Make sure you establish clear boundaries and try to stick to ‘office hours’ as if you were going into a regular workplace. This will make you feel in greater control of your time and allow you to plan out your day more effectively without the overwhelming sensation that no matter how much work you get done you will never be leaving the office.
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