From the outsider’s perspective, working from home probably seems like the ideal set up. You don’t have to worry about the daily commute or office politics, you have flexibility over your working hours, and you can freely work in your pyjamas if the mood strikes. The laptop lifestyle most certainly has its perks.

But while there are health benefits of working from home, such as reduced stress and more sleep, it can equally become harmful to your mental wellbeing if you don’t look after yourself properly.

Loneliness and social isolation top the list of issues faced by homeworkers. Freedom away from colleagues creating distractions may feel like a good thing at first, but this lack of social interaction can be detrimental to your mental health, productivity and general wellbeing.

Further to this, by working from home you’re at risk of blurring the boundaries between your home-life and work-life, which can interfere with your ability to truly relax and turn ‘work mode’ off during your free time.

Occupational health specialist Gail Kinman advises homeworkers to, “avoid being ‘always on’, as downtime is essential for mental and physical health and effectiveness at work,” adding that, “a lack of boundaries between work and personal life (physical and psychological boundaries) can prove a challenge.”

Following on from Gail’s recommendations, here are a few more tips for staying happy and healthy when working from home.

Create a dedicated ‘home office’

By setting up a dedicated space in your home to act as your ‘home office’, it will maintain a clear segregation between your job and your personal life. Working from your bed may be the cosy option, but by doing so you’re at risk of developing a sub-conscious association between a place that is supposed to be relaxing and the stresses of work.

Creating a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing workspace away from your bed or sofa will do wonders for your productivity and creativity as well. Factors such as an ergonomic chair, a tidy, clutter-free desk, and a calming colour-scheme can all positively contribute to your mood, focus and motivation.

Interior designer Catchy Phillips explains that, “having everything in its place, and furniture arranged in a pleasing and practical way, will make for a calming environment. If you can’t find what you need, or you can’t reach that all important file, your mood is bound to be affected.”

Stick to your morning routine

You’d be amazed how much something as simple as having a shower and getting dressed can alter your mindset and prepare you for your day ahead. The temptation to bypass the morning routine is understandable when you don’t have plans to leave the house, but an invigorating shower and a clean set of clothes will leave you feeling refreshed and energised. On top of that, opening the door to the postman needn’t be an embarrassing experience if you’re not sporting your PJs at midday – save this for the weekend!

Set a routine, so that you wake up at around the same time each morning and get ready as though you’re leaving for the office. One of the luxuries of working from home is flexibility but sticking to a rough routine will help you avoid too much procrastination, which can leave you feeling lethargic and demotivated.

Arrange to see friends and family

Research from Acas found that around a fifth (20 percent) of homeworkers often feel socially isolated – a worrying statistic considering more people are telecommuting today, than ever before.

If you spend long hours glued to your desk, make the effort to arrange regular plans to see friends and family throughout the week. It can be as quick as a coffee in a local café or joining a friend on their lunch break from work. Just a short period of social interaction each day is sure to give you an emotional boost.

Stay active

Desk jobs can encourage sedentary lifestyles, which can not only have negative consequences for your physical health, but also your mental wellbeing. For those whose jobs don’t require you to get up and about, it’s crucial that you’re proactive about fitting some sort of exercise into your day.

If your arrangement allows for flexible working hours, why not incorporate an exercise class or morning trip to the gym into your routine? If the gym isn’t your cup of tea, a jog or brisk walk around the block will provide you with a healthy hit of fresh air and mood boosting endorphins.

Gail says that the key to maintaining good mental health is, “taking regular breaks away from the computer, preferably in a different environment and doing something different to what you do in your job, for example going for a walk.”

Introducing a canine companion to the home is a great way of encouraging yourself to get out of the house and exercise, as they need their daily walks as much as you do. Dogs also provide fantastic company if the feelings of loneliness creep in too.

Keep the kitchen stocked with healthy food

Having the kitchen in arm’s reach is both a blessing and a curse. If you buy lots of sugary or salty snacks, it’s likely you’ll give into the temptation and develop unhealthy habits, whereas stocking your fridge with the ingredients to make a healthy lunch will keep your energy levels up and your body nourished. A healthy body equals a healthy mind, after all.


By incorporating a few of these pointers into your routine, you’re sure to reap the benefits of working from home, while staying happy and healthy. For more tips on creating your home office heaven, you can also take a look at this article.

You’ve worked for years on your home business, at first perhaps on your lap, then at the kitchen table, and then finally in the “spare room” that has been designated the “home office”. But thankfully, your business has grown, and with it, the need for more space.

So what do you do now that your business requires more room for additional meeting spaces for clients and working areas for additional employees? Here are 7 suggestions for expansion when you’ve outgrown your home office, and need more space.

1. Weigh up the pros and cons of buying property for your business premises

Naturally, this is a fairly big step in the life of your business, as you’ll finally have a physical space that is not related to your home at all. You’ll be able to properly split your home life from your work life! But remember to weigh up the pros and cons of buying commercial property. A definite pro would be the growth of your business’ asset portfolio, but a con would be that it would require a substantial outlay of funds that won’t negatively impact your business.

2. Weigh up the pros and cons of leasing property for your business premises

This is definitely the more affordable option, in terms of preliminary outlay, but again, leasing property comes with its own set of cons, one of them being the restrictions your lease term puts on your business growth, should you again need to expand and add room.

Whether you decide to buy or lease property, make sure you know what you’re in for. Have a checklist handy to ensure you are setting up your new premises correctly to avoid nasty – and costly – surprises down the track.

You’ll be able to properly split your home life from your work life!

3. Do your research via reputable commercial property sites and agents

You cannot afford to skip this step. Check out sites like Commercial Property Guide (CPG), which lists commercial property by sale or lease, and even helps you find an agent. It will be invaluable information while you’re in the crucial decision-making stage of the process.

4. Ask yourself what you want out of your office

Now that your office isn’t in the back room of your home, you are free to think about the space as purely used for professional purposes i.e. doesn’t house a sofa bed for visiting out-of-towners. You will need to consider the location and the commute you’re willing to do, meeting or breakout rooms, zoning etc.

Whether you decide to buy or lease property, make sure you know what you’re in for.

You’ll also need to consider how you will make that shift from a home office to an actual office space. Do you want to maintain the casual, laid-back environment so often found in home businesses, or will this office move signal a newer, more professional feel for your fledgling business? You might need to re-evaluate how your employees present themselves at work, in which case the importance of presentation skills in your new workplace becomes paramount to success in your new environment.

5. Get expert advice from people in the Commercial Property industry

It would be beneficial for you to meet with people well versed in insurance, legal and finance regarding commercial property. The Australian Government has a range of resources specifically catered to new business and CPG offers an Ask Ed service, which has been designed to assist you with every aspect of your business move.

You’ll also need to consider how you will make that shift from a home office to an actual office space.

6. Consider shared office space

A shared office space (i.e. an executive suite scenario, where you are sharing a floor with another business) means you share meeting areas, phone systems and, in some cases, a receptionist who looks after all businesses in your area. This may cut costs, and, if the business is in the same industry or complementary industry as yours, you will be that much closer to new business colleagues.

7. And finally, consider why you need new office space

Why you’re considering new office space will help you figure out what kind of new space your business needs to be in. For many, it’s because your business has grown so much that the extra space is handy for new employees and added clients, but if you’re merely after nice meeting rooms for your clients then perhaps a complete move to new offices might not be the best answer. Be clear about what you want, and what you and your business can afford now.

Featured photo credit: roeyahram via photopin cc

This article was written in collaboration with Commercial Property Guide.

EricaEnriquezPhotoErica Enriquez
Erica is a Sydney-based writer and digital marketer, and can often be found pounding away on a keyboard, writing about everything from travel, lifestyle, well-being and anything in between. When she is not writing, she is STILL writing, developing copy and content for websites and marketing collateral. Erica is passionate about film, literature and culture (high brow and low brow), as well as pro-social causes supporting cultural engagement (counting travelling as one of them). In her spare time, she loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book, go for a nice dinner with friends or spend time with her partner.