If you have been working from home for some time now, you may have fallen victim to a strange phenomenon: the I'm-Not-The-Boss-Of-Me syndrome. You may have started out being the 'boss of you' in your home office, but since then have noticed some boss-worker lines getting blurred.
Perhaps you're shrugging off responsibility for deadlines, or letting the office turn into a catch-all for the flotsam-and-jetsam of the house, or wandering into your home office only after reruns of your favorite show have ended. Or maybe you're a tyrant boss, not allowing yourself any breaks or fun. Perhaps you are a boss who is not providing your employee with the tools needed to get the job done properly. No matter what's happening, the balance has tilted uncomfortably.
These scenarios are not unusual. As a matter of fact, most work-at-home people find themselves at one point lapsing into a routine that is not conducive to productivity and a good working environment. The employer-employee relationship is strained. Pulling yourself up by the boot straps and getting back to work takes some re-thinking of your employer-employee relationship.
Let's take a look at a few things the Boss (you) can do for the Employee (you) to relieve stress and get your home office running smoothly again.
Time Management Tools
The home office environment has some unique time management hurdles to clear. Everyone stresses when time is not being used well. Deadlines are missed and you have to answer to your clients at the same time you're trying to figure out how to motivate yourself to get the job done. As both the boss and the employee, you have some serious decisions to make.
Start by providing yourself with the best time management tools you can find. There are many programs and applications for tracking productivity to help identify the areas that need work. Keep track of tasks and the time it takes to do them and you'll soon understand where to focus and make changes.
Every good boss knows how valuable time away from the desk can be. Employees, especially dedicated employees like you, often work long hours, skipping lunch and breaks to get a project done. The fact is, when working without a break the quality of the work suffers. Clarity and focus are lost as the brain gets stuck in slow-motion.
As your boss, you need to remind yourself that you are not a machine. Step outside and take a little walk. Fresh air can work wonders on the creative juices. If you need to, set a timer for breaks, lunch, and, yes, even the end of the work day.
All work and no play makes for a very unhappy crew. When you are both the boss and the employee, it can be difficult to remember to have a laugh or two during the day. Your boss-self is driving you to work, work, work, while your employee-self is all in trying to make the boss happy.
Find something funny to read or watch each and every day. In fact, schedule yourself a 'laugh break' so you don't forget. It is the job of the boss to set the tone for the office, so go ahead, boss, get that laugh memo out to yourself and enjoy some giggles.
Creating a work environment in your home office when you are both the boss and employee can be a challenge. Taking a look at your work day schedule from both perspectives is the only way to keep both you and your boss happy. Yes, you ARE the boss of you so treat yourself like the valuable employee you are.