Telecommuters Need a 'Commute' Too

Last Updated Apr 5, 2011 11:27 PM EDT

More of us are working from home these days; a recent Skype survey found that 62% of companies allow remote work. One of the big reasons we seek this perk is that most of us hate commuting. Skipping the daily grind of battling traffic is one of the best parts of working from a home office.
There is a drawback, though. Horrible though commutes may be, they serve a purpose. They give us a mental break between "work” and "life.” If the "life” part of your equation involves family members who will demand attention, just as your work projects have been demanding attention all day, going straight from one role to the other can feel disorienting and stressful.

But there is a solution -- give yourself a "commute” without the traffic.

Here's how that works. Wind down your work 15 minutes before you are expected to emerge from your home office. Resist the urge to send one more email! If you've got a separate door to the outside, go ahead and put on your coat and go out there. Walk around the block a few times to clear your head, or even stop by the local convenience store for milk.

If you don't have an outside door, you'll have to get more creative. Close your laptop to make it clear to yourself that you're done -- at least for the next few hours. Copy train commuters and read the newspaper or a novel for 15 minutes. Write in a journal or review your personal and professional goals. Or just kick your feet up, stare out the window and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Enjoy this me time. Then walk out, ready to tackle your second job of the day.

In the grand scheme of things, 15 minutes isn't much. But a little mindless puttering can give you the energy to make it to bedtime.

How do you create a break between "home" and "work"?

Related:
Photo courtesy flickr user, epSos.de

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