Work-From-Home Boundaries: How to Have the Conversation

If you're struggling to create and maintain work-from-home boundaries with family and friends, here's how to get the conversation started.
Family of four (mom, dad, two daughters) sitting on a couch, smiling.

Work-from-home boundaries: We know them, we love them, but sometimes, it’s just so hard to follow them.

After all, working from home is a dream come true for most people. But as a Service Partner, when you begin living and working under the same roof — often with loved ones, friends, or roommates around you — things can get complicated.

If you’re struggling to create and maintain work-from-home boundaries with family and friends, here’s how to get the conversation started.

Step 1: Start An Honest Conversation

Whether you live with family, a significant other, and/or children, now is the time to engage in an honest conversation about boundaries while you work from home. Discuss what you need (a secluded space, quiet hours), as well as how your family can help ease your transition into working from home.

Here are some example statements you can use to start the conversation with your loved ones:

  • “Even though I have the flexibility when I work from home, it doesn’t mean I’m not actually working. When I am working, I need you to treat me as you would if I was working outside of the house.”
  • “I think it’s time for us to set some healthy boundaries while I’m at home and working.”
  • “I love being able to work from home and spend more time with you… but when I am actually working, I need you to give me a distraction-free zone!”

Step 2: Set Ground Rules

Does your teenager blast music while you’re working? Does your partner have a tendency to distract you during the day? After you open the door with an honest statement about how you feel, now is the time to set ground rules.

Be specific when it comes to the behavior you expect from those in your household while you work from home. Request that anyone who’s in the house while you’re working is as respectful as possible.

Not to worry though: They can still enjoy music or television during the day without distracting you! Headphones should do the trick.

Step 3: Compromise

Working from home is definitely an adjustment for both you and those around you. Instead of locking yourself in a room all day while you’re working, make sure you take a few coffee breaks or enjoy lunch with family and friends. This way they’ll feel connected and you’ll get some much-needed, real-life social time as you work from home.

Since you may have family or friends who aren’t working from home or working at all, it’s important to keep an open mind. It’s understandable if your family and friends encounter difficulty following your work-from-home schedule. If your significant other prefers to sleep in on a Wednesday morning, consider moving your workspace to a different area of the home instead of forcing them to wake up. Alternatively, if everyone in your is working from home online or completing school, consider dividing the total space into specific office areas, with the kitchen and living room serving as pseudo “breakrooms.”

Step 4: Flexibility Is Key

Sometimes accidents happen. It’s OK if a family member distracts you for a few minutes.

Try your best to remain as focused as possible when you’re working from home. However, take comfort in knowing that there is no perfect solution to remaining completely distraction-free with others, especially children. Taking breaks is a necessary part of productivity. Instead of viewing family or friends as unwanted distractions, use them as a way to destress, clear your head, and avoid burnout while working from home.

Work-From-Home Boundaries Made Easy

Looking for more helpful tips about working from home as a Service Partner? Check out these five tricks to becoming the best customer support agent!


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