Remote work has many benefits: you can cut commute costs out of your financial plan, wear comfortable clothes, and even travel without missing a day of work. Plus, some workers say staying home improves their focus and productivity. However, when you work where you live, it’s easy for your job to creep into your personal time. That’s why remote workers need to foster a healthy work-life balance. The following tips could help you establish boundaries between your professional and personal lives.  

Develop a routine and stick to it

Maintaining consistent working hours can signal to your brain—and your family or coworkers—when it’s time to work and time to stop working. Start your day at the same time every morning, just as you would if you were commuting to an office. End your workday at a set time and use the transition to unwind and relax. If you can, try to take your lunch break around the same time each day, too.

Establishing a consistent routine helps create a clear divide between your working hours and your personal time, ensuring you don’t find yourself answering emails before you get out of bed in the morning or finishing your to-do list late into the evening.

Keep work in your workspace

Whether you live in a three-story home or a studio apartment, try to designate a specific area in your space for work. Your workspace could be an office in a separate room, a corner of your living room, or even a desk in your bedroom. No matter the size of your workspace, try to keep your documents, laptop, and other supplies for your job confined to that area.

You might take your work outside for a change in scenery, but you should bring it back to your “office” when you’re done. This separation helps you avoid the feeling that you’re always at work. If possible, try to apply the same principle to your virtual spaces. Avoid doing work tasks on your personal devices, like your phone and laptop (if you have a separate work laptop).

Prepare nourishing lunches

When you’re working from home, it could be easy to snack mindlessly or skip meals while you power through tasks. But when you don’t enjoy a good lunch, you may end up feeling sluggish, light-headed, or exhausted by the end of the workday. Instead, take the time to prepare nourishing meals that give you the energy to get through your day.

If you have trouble making lunch during the week, you could meal prep in advance. Taking a break to prepare and enjoy your meal can provide a necessary pause and refresh your mind. Occasionally taking yourself out to lunch can also break up the monotony of remote work and lift your spirits.

Make time for fresh air

Cutting out your commute doesn’t have to mean staying indoors all day. Spending long hours inside could leave you in a rut that takes a toll on your productivity—and, more importantly, your mental health. Incorporate short breaks into your daily schedule to step outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes. A quick walk around the block or a few minutes in your backyard or on your patio can do wonders for your mental clarity and mood. Fresh air and natural sunlight can ground and rejuvenate you.

These intentional practices can help you maintain a work-life balance as a remote worker. That way, you can enjoy all the benefits of working from home without sacrificing your personal life.