How To Separate Family From Work When Working At Home

Services for Real Estate Pros with Think Glink Media

People are finding it easier to be stay-at-home moms or dads while also employed at a job. Technology helps these people work from home with jobs like telecommuting or even a home business. 

This may seem like the best of both worlds for family women and men out there, but it may be difficult for some to balance out family work from job work.

Here are some ways to help separate work from family:

1. Create a specific workplace in your home

2. Create a schedule and design work hours

3. Understand when it is time to quit

Following these steps may help your clients prevent family from impeding on work and vice versa. For more information about working from home click here.






Ilyce Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at, The Equifax Personal Finance Blogand CBS Moneywatch She is Chief Content Strategist at, a community for real estate investors.


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AngelaKristen Taylor
Master Agent Life - Winter Haven, FL
Integrative Real Estate Coach

I have to say I disagree with you on this one... people in real estate tend to be less than structured individuals. Yes, traditionally when working from home, having a quiet home office is the way to go but when it comes to real estate people, there needs to be more chaos in the environment in order for us to be at our most productive. A real estate agent in a quiet office, shut away from the activity of a busy household, will be sitting in front of their computer screen with a wandering mind and huge lack of focus. I have a home office. It's perfect and has everything I need. Do I use it?? Not for anything other than storage. I like to work on the living room sofa, with my laptop, music playing or a movie running, my dog at my feet, sun streaming in through the windows, and yes, even the kids calling my name every now and then (I have four). Having activity around me keeps my brain at its most active which keeps me at my most productive. I do have working hours and I take lunch at the same time every day as well but the key to balancing out a life in real estate is to avoid structure in the traditional sense and create structure that works with our need for a little chaos in our environments. My entire business is based on this principal... :-)



Jul 31, 2012 10:14 PM #21
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Wow - I needed to read this post. I have having such a tough time drawing boundaries between work and home lately. I rarely stop working, and when I do I have this horrible guilt that there's something else I need to do! Working from home requires a special kind of discipline that apparently I lack!

Jul 31, 2012 10:16 PM #22
Sylvia Jonathan
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties - Irvine, CA
Broker Associate, SFR

You forgot # 4: Train spouse not to simply plop themselves in your office and start a long story when you are clearly working.

Jul 31, 2012 10:29 PM #23
Tamara Elliott-Deering
Central Metro Realty - Austin, TX

I have a separate office just off the kitchen (it used to be the dining room) but I realize what I need to help with the quitting part is a door.  Maybe that's not to help with quitting time, maybe it's just to hide the mess.

Jul 31, 2012 10:39 PM #24
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Ilyce, good points for working at home. Sometimes two and three are difficult to do.

Jul 31, 2012 11:34 PM #25
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

All this is fine...The wild card at my house is my wife coming and going while interacting with me like if I am off...I learned a long time ago to treat it as an unscheduled break....willingly I might add..

Jul 31, 2012 11:54 PM #26
Rafi Footerman
Mid Jersey Inspections - Edison, NJ
Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More!

It's the last part that gives me the most trouble.  Of course, keeping my wife away from my office space is a close second :)

Aug 01, 2012 12:09 AM #27
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Best thing to do is have a separate room that you can close the door and work uninterrupted.  Hard to do though when you have little kids because no matter what they will be loud and distracting especially if they are home alone with you.

Aug 01, 2012 12:10 AM #28
Ben Gerritsen
Mortgage Miracles Happen, NMLS ID: 1289680 - Ogden, UT
Mortgage Loan Originator

great topic & post Ilyce. Everyone works from home at some point in their career. So we all have to have the help with tis. Thanks

Aug 01, 2012 12:57 AM #29
Jana Holmstrup
Jana Holmstrup - VP Ops - Kings Mortgage Services, Inc. - Visalia, CA
Hmmm.. Understanding when it's time to quit - that's my nemisis. As the ultimate multi-tasker, I can't stop myself from checking an email or reading an article while the chicken is browning...
Aug 01, 2012 02:32 AM #30
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Ilyce, I would add one more - get an office at the office - home office wouldn't work for me - pool to inviting.

Aug 01, 2012 02:51 AM #31
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

Wow, sounds like we all have some trouble separating work from home life. In the last few years I've gone from working out of a home office to having a multi-person office a few blocks away from my home and it's been a big adjustment. 

Setting priorities and time frames seems to be the biggest help for me.

There are lots more examples and tips on the original blog here:

I'd love for you to head over to the Equifax blog and leave some of your great suggestions there, too.


Good luck with all your work this week -- and take a little time for fun and family, too!  

Aug 01, 2012 03:09 AM #32
Bud & Beth McKinney
Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United

I think  that number three is the most important, for those at home and at he office, knowing when to stop. When one spouse is home at 5:30 and ready for family time but you are still working until 8 or 9, it's tough.

Aug 01, 2012 04:42 AM #33
Linda Schneider
Fast Newsletters - San Diego, CA
Fast Newsletters for Real Estate Agents

I'll jump on the bandwagon...#3 is my big challenge, too.


Aug 01, 2012 05:45 AM #34
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

When you are juggling lots of deals at the same time, well, it's hard to carve out uninteruppted family time, much less a vacation!  We strive to meet these goals but the real world of demanding customers and potential new business elbows in.  Although I will say, I'm not that busy now and feeling OK about not working as much as I could be..taking some time before I ship my oldest daughter off to college!

Aug 01, 2012 05:58 AM #35
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

I have found a great way to not have a problem working at home with my family because I live alone with my dogs.  I still set parameters though because enough is enough.

Aug 01, 2012 06:25 AM #36
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

Bud and Beth- 

Absolutely. Family time is critical, and the few extra hours you spend working instead of enjoying family can really add up if you let them.

Aug 02, 2012 02:47 AM #37
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.


With all the technology we have today, it's easy to get sucked into answering emails until all hours of the night. It's certainly a challenge to stay away, especially when there's a lot going on at work.

Aug 02, 2012 02:49 AM #38
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.


Whether your 'children' are of the human or animal persuasion, they always want your undivided attention!

Aug 02, 2012 02:50 AM #39
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

You cannot completely schedule kids or their needs, especially when you are in the home.  This business also infringes on the personal life.  I think I have some balance, but it is flexible.

Aug 02, 2012 09:51 AM #40
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Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.
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