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5 Ways to Differentiate Your Home Office from Your Leisure Space

09 October 2023

In the new remote working world, more and more people are working from the comfort of their own homes in a home office - about a quarter of the workforce, in fact. And while working remotely comes with huge benefits - namely saving on commuting costs and enjoying a more flexible lifestyle - there is one significant drawback.

When the place you work is seen as the place you sleep, your professional life and personal life can start to bleed into one another. Without a clear finish time and commute to separate your workday from your evening, it's tempting to keep going for one final hour. Then another one. Then another one…

Unfortunately, being unable to switch off from work can be detrimental to your mental health. That's why we've put together this helpful guide to differentiating your home office from your leisure space, so you never have to muddy the waters between your personal and professional life again.

1. Mark the end of the day

One way to separate your work day from your leisure time is to mark the end of the day somehow. It doesn't have to be by indulging in a treat. It can be something as simple as lighting a candle or leaving your house for a walk.

By marking the end of the day with an action that you do at 5pm without fail and staying consistent, you'll get in the habit of finishing your workday properly. One option is to set an alarm for the time you usually finish and promise to move to another room in the house or leave the house completely when the alarm goes off.

Naturally, on particularly hectic days you may have to work past the alarm, but it's an easy way of trying to ensure you're consistent.

2. Create a cosy corner

One trick to ensuring you separate your home office from your leisure space is to make your leisure space so cosy and inviting that you simply can't help but relax there!

It's easy to make a cosy corner through decoration and furniture alone. Use warm colours to make the space calming, add scented candles, and, of course, prioritise comfortable seating.

A seat like the recliner LE1047 provides your space with some much-needed comfort to lure you out of the home office after a day hard at work. Skin-friendly cotton and the soft-cushioned backrest make this the ultimate seat for comfort, while the effortless recline allows you to kiss goodbye to the hassle of buttons and levers.

The armrests curve to mimic the natural shape of your arms, giving them a much-needed rest after working all day. Pair the recliner with a coffee table to hold a well-deserved cuppa and some plump cushions to maximise comfort.

3. Stick to a strict schedule

Striking a balance between work and play can be difficult if you don’t set a strict schedule that puts downtime in the diary. Luckily, this is easily rectified. Create a strict schedule and stick to it, setting alarms for the start and end of the day.

If you're worried about completing all your tasks before you clock off, try some productivity techniques such as The Pomodoro Technique and take regular breaks to keep your brain working without burnout.

4. Create a work-free morning routine

The worst habit to get into (but, luckily, an easy one to break!) is working from the moment you wake up. As well as situating your workspace in another room to your bedroom, an easy way to avoid working from the minute you open your eyes is to put a work-free morning routine into place.

Include physical exercise and some sort of mindfulness activity that will set your brain up for the day ahead.

5. Don't work where you sleep

If you can help it, try not to work and sleep in the same room. If you're so short on space it's non-negotiable, set up a screen or divider in your bedroom to split the room up between the working and the sleeping space.

If you work where you sleep, it can easily muddy the waters between your work life and home life. Not to mention, there's the temptation to roll straight out of bed and start working, which isn't good for your long-term well-being.

The further away your home office can be kept from where you sleep, the better. That way, you'll have a mini commute to your desk every day - even if it is just one flight of stairs!

Differentiating your work from your play is challenging, but it's a must for long-term mental health. By swapping up the furniture and decor between the two rooms, you'll create a clear visual distinction of which room is which.

Plus, with the help of schedules, end-of-the-day traditions, and a work-free morning routine, you'll find that coveted work-life balance in no time.