How to keep work and home life separate when running your own business


Nowadays, a large number of people are taking the plunge and setting up their own business. The rise in home computer use, the internet and online shopping have all contributed to making working from home a real possibility.

However, it doesn’t matter what type of business you’re running: anyone who works from home can have the potential to become too relaxed or unmotivated. Even as a new entrepreneur, you may be enthusiastic about organising the initial business essentials, but then lose confidence and momentum. If this happens, the lines between work and play could become blurred, which can have a negative impact on your company.

Take a look at these suggestions for ways to keep your work separate from your home life, and decide whether any could work for you.

Create a work area

Working in front of the television with a laptop on your lap could prove hugely unproductive, so why not designate a proper working space? This can help to encourage the same working attitude as in a professional office, and could even help to communicate to your family that when you are in this space, you are busy working.

Get a business email address

To help further distinguish when you are working and when you are relaxing, you could use a separate email address during working hours. If you use a personal address for your business needs, this may not only look unprofessional, but it could run the risk of being an unwelcome distraction.

Ignore private calls until breaks

As in an office environment, why not try taking personal calls during breaks, rather than at your desk? A call to organise a meal out could easily end up turning into a lengthy catch-up! As an extension, you could designate a phone entirely for business use.

Set strict working hours

Another draw of operating a business from home is the ability to set your own working hours. However, this could also prove distracting. It might be for the best to decide upon a strict working pattern: waking up as you normally would, working for a set number of hours with breaks, and then finishing your day. This can help to provide a nice differentiation between work and play.

Get dressed for the occasion

Waking up five minutes before you need to start working and sitting there in your pyjamas can be a comforting thought, but the drawback may be that you aren’t in the right frame of mind to work. Instead, you could wake up in good time to get dressed and have breakfast, and only then start working. You could even pick out smart or smart-casual clothes to try and help set some boundaries.

Image credit: Jeff Sheldon /