Keeping your business life and personal life separate is important – if the two interfere, they can cause harm to one another. If your personal life starts to permeate your business life, it could affect your professionalism and ability to work productively. Meanwhile, allowing your business life to enter your personal life could stop you from being able to enjoy your free time.
There are a number of ways in which you can keep the two separate – even if you work from home. Here are just a few different measures that you can take.
Open a Business Bank Account
Having a designated bank account for business purposes can make it easier to separate your personal finances and business finances. This can make bookkeeping a lot easier – by only paying business expenses out of your business bank account, you can determine exactly which outgoing costs are tax-deductible.
Nowadays, you can easily set up a business transaction account online. There are also business savings accounts out there that can be useful for saving up funds.
Use Separate Email Accounts
To help separate your work emails and personal emails, it could also be worth setting up a separate work email address. This allows you to check your personal emails without feeling the need to reply to work queries in your free time. Similarly, you won’t be distracted by personal emails while at work.
Buy a Work Phone
Using the same phone for personal calls and business calls makes it very hard to separate both lives. By using a work phone for all work-related calls, you can physically switch off from work mode so that you’re not having to answer work calls in your free time. Similarly, you won’t be distracted from personal notifications while trying to work – your personal social media accounts and emails can be accessed on your personal phone and these could be muted while at work, so that you’re only receiving business-related emails and social media notifications.
There are business phone plans that you can take out that are ideal for business. There may even be bundles that allow you to save money on two phone contracts.
Set up a Designated Office Space
If you don’t have a separate office space to work from, you could find it hard to tune out from the distractions of everyday life. Setting up a room in your home as a home office is a great way to keep both lives separated – this room can then be reserved strictly for work. If you don’t have the space in your home to do this, another option could be to simply designate a corner of a room to work (ideally a bedroom or dining room in which you won’t be distracted by kids or other family members).
Keep to a Work Schedule
Having set working hours makes it easier to distinguish work time and free time. It could help family members and friends to know when you are working so that they don’t disturb you and so that they can more easily make plans. It could also help if you need to arrange childcare or a dog-sitter on a regular basis. You may also find it easier to switch from work mode to relax mode – something that you might find hard to do if you’re constantly working different hours each day and each week.
You may find that the weekday nine to five hours suit you best. Alternatively, you may prefer to set your own schedule to suit client needs or personal commitments. Just make sure that you’ve got designated days off each week and designated chill time each day.
Consider a Virtual Business Address
Don’t want clients to know your personal address, but need to receive mail from them? A way of getting around this is to outsource a virtual address. Your physical mail is then sent to this address and then redirected to your home address after. Such virtual addresses tend to be in prime business locations – which could look good for your company’s reputation as it could seem as if you’re located in a city office location when you could in fact be working from home in the suburbs.
Switch to a Limited Company
Setting your company up as a limited company allows you to legally separate your personal assets and business assets. If a debt collection agency needs to collect money for personal debts, they then cannot seize assets registered to your business. A limited company also comes with tax benefits and it can help your business to look and feel more official. Talk to a business lawyer for more information on how you can change your company formation to a limited company.