Setting Boundaries for Your Virtual Office

4/22/2015 Molly Smith

Setting Boundaries for Your Virtual Assistant Office

by Molly Smith


Working from home is more common now than ever before. With new technology and the need for two income households, Moms and Dads have that option. But, working from home isn’t always as easy as some might imagine; you have to juggle daily chores, children, and work all in one day. The key to being productive from home is setting boundaries.

Have a Designated Workspace

You don’t need a home office, but you do need a space to call your own while working. Whether it’s a corner of your bedroom, the dining room table, or a small office, you

need a place to work that is quiet, and where you won’t be disturbed. If you’re a parent of young children, this may mean turning a room into a play/work area. You can set up playpen or use a safety gate to designate a place for baby to play. Give him or her safe toys to enjoy while you work.

Be Flexible With Your Schedule

Part of setting boundaries is letting your family and friends know your work schedule, which may not be 9 to 5 each day. If you have children, a schedule may be more like working from 8 to noon, and them from 5 to 7 in the evening. You can adjust your schedule to work around you families needs. Children often have after-school activities or other appointments that make setting “normal” work hours impossible.

Take Advantage of Technology

A majority of people today use cell phones, and many people have done away with the landline. Your cell phone can help you set boundaries. Most have a feature known as “Quiet Mode” that turns off all sounds and blocks incoming calls, unless you’ve added certain phone numbers to a list that can ring through. You can allow calls from your child’s school, your spouse, or your older children; it’s up to you. Any number not on the list receives a message that you will return their call as soon as you can. You can customize this message if you’d like. You can schedule this features so that it automatically begins and ends at a certain time each day of the week, so you don’t have to remember to turn it off and on.

Discuss Work Hours with Others

It goes without saying that you’ll need to discuss work hours with your boss, unless you are freelancing and working when it’s most convenient for you. But, you also need to discuss work hours with family and friends, so that they understand even though you’re at home, you’re not available at all times. Discuss what defines an “emergency,” so everyone is on the same page.

Working from home is not the ideal situation that some people imagine it is. Your work must get done, or you don’t get paid. And, isn’t that the point of working? Just make sure to set boundaries and that everyone understands them, so you can be a productive, even among the chaos of family.

About the author
Molly Smith is freelance writer and author.  She writes articles in a variety of niches, including gardening, working from home, parenting and others.  Visit her blog to find links to her latest books and short story publications.

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