I’ve been working at home lately. No stretch to guess that it’s because of the awful weather we’ve been having.

While I do have an office in downtown Chicago, I’m a virtual kind of guy whose company is paperless and uses cloud-based applications. This lets me work anywhere and take meetings in one of our many conveniently located branch offices. You’ve probably been there yourself, the ones that provide a wide variety of coffee drinks in demi, short, tall, grande and venti sizes.

So as I sat myself down during the first couple of days of being at home, I needed to figure out ways to be productive during what seems to be the endless winter. If you do work at home, and any of this sounds familiar, then let me share the results of my totally unscientific research.

It’s simply this: If you work at home, it’s vital to separate time and space between home and work. In other words, set boundaries. That may seem obvious, but how do we develop the appropriate strategies to do so?

Blogger Sharon Soto, in her blog post, No Pajamas at the Work Place, provides us some guidance in establishing our work space. She suggests having a work environment at home that has:

  • Plenty of light
  • Quite surroundings
  • Enough space to move around
  • Play area for children
  • Free of clutter
  • Light color painted walls
  • Clear headsets
  • Calendar desk
  • Material at hand
  • Comfortable seating
  • Computer speed
  • Windows in the room

Another blog suggested that we can separate home and work with a “commute” — taking the dog for a walk or doing an errand. But if you do, make sure the sidewalk is shoveled.
Kalish is and EBA Advisory Board member and president of National Benefit Services, Inc., a Chicago-based third party administrator. He is a Guest Lecturer at John Marshall School of Law LLM Program in Employee Benefits and serves on the Great Lakes IRS Advisory Council for Tax Exempt and Government Entity Plans. Jerry has been publishing The Retirement Plan Blog since 2006. He can be reached via email at jerry@nationalbenefit.com and followed on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit Adviser content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access