My Journey to Work-Life Balance in the World of Remote Work
I joined LexBlog just a few months before the COVID pandemic hit, and I’m really grateful for that. This company has fully embraced remote work, making the transition to the “new normal” incredibly smooth. I’ve been working from home for years now, and along the way, I’ve picked up some useful strategies for adapting my lifestyle and mindset to this way of working. In this article, I’ll share some tips for achieving a healthy remote work-life balance, based on my personal experience.
Let’s start with the hard part about remote work. For one, you have to be self-motivated and focused. Working from anywhere other than an office opens up a plethora of distractions — whether it’s pets, roommates, the TV, or random chores around the house. Not having boundaries between work and personal life is detrimental to productivity.
And because I’m striving to be so productive, that means it’s sometimes hard to quit working. It’s too easy to flip open my laptop at random times in the evening as soon as an idea enters my mind. If all of my work were left at the office, I’d have no choice but to wait until the next day. Of course, this can lead to burnout, causing diminishing returns to my productivity and mental well-being.
Another challenge some people struggle with is the lack of social interaction. Working remotely can feel isolating and make it hard to exchange important information with colleagues. It also slightly diminishes the feeling of camaraderie.
Strategies for Achieving Work-Life Balance in Remote Work
So, how do I maintain a healthy work-life balance while working remotely? Having accumulated years of remote work experience, I’ve honed strategies to tackle the unique challenges that come with my situation.
For starters, I find it best to establish a dedicated workspace in my home. This not only helps me mentally separate my work life from my personal life, but also allows me to create an environment that fosters productivity and minimizes distractions. It’s tempting to work from bed or on the couch in front of the TV, but this distracts from being productive while also making it harder to enjoy my relaxation after work.
At the same time, I place high priority on self-care when working from home. Remote work offers a great opportunity to care for myself since I have more control of my environment and resources. Taking regular breaks to grab a snack from the fridge, sit out on the balcony, or play a quick round of video games allows me to reset and tackle the next work task. However, it’s important stick to a schedule and not over-extend breaks.
One of the hardest challenges is when outside factors, such as family visits, cause me to have to improvise a new routine. In these situations, I try to establish boundaries with visitors while also being respectful of theirs. This might mean moving my workspace into the kitchen so that a family member can sleep in the office. It’s okay to improvise a little so long as I make it clear to others when I’m in work mode.
Overall, the best way to thrive in remote work situations is to establish boundaries and a routine while also remembering when to set work aside and enjoy yourself. I’m a huge advocate for self-care and believe that remote work offers a better opportunity to provide this than working in an office. In the next section, I’ll provide some tool and resources that can help maintain remote work-life balance.
Tools and Resources to Assist in Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Below is a list of tools and resources that have helped me find work-life balance during the new normal:
- Microsoft To-Do: a simple task checklist app for setting reminders and setting my intentions for the day
- Headspace: a mindfulness mediation app that offers quick and easy ways to mentally reset during busy days
- Slack: a corporate chat app for quickly communicating with colleagues
- Google Calendar: an easy way to maintain my schedule and block off time for both personal and work tasks
- Evernote: an all-in-one note-taking app for keeping track of important information and journaling my daily experiences
- Talkspace: a therapy app for near-instantaneous counseling via chat or video
- “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss
- Communicating with team members and managers about work expectations and workload
- Communicating with friends and family as a support system for managing personal life
- LinkedIn for finding remote work support groups, or just general work/productivity resources
- Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC’s) such as Udemy or Coursera for finding courses on personal growth, work productivity, and job skills
Employer’s Role in Supporting Work-Life Balance for Remote Workers
In recent times, I’ve encountered numerous stories about employers who have been quite resistant to the surge in remote work since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Although working in an office setting has its perks, I’ve noticed that employees tend to be much happier when they have the flexibility to work remotely for at least part of the week. By implementing hybrid or fully remote work arrangements, employers can support their staff in achieving a balanced work-life dynamic. Allow me to share some insights on how this can be accomplished:
Establish clear communication guidelines and expectations
Encourage and support flexible working hours
Provide access to time management tools and resources
Organize regular virtual team-building activities
Offer mental health support and resources
Respect employees’ personal time and boundaries
Encourage employees to take regular breaks and vacations
Provide opportunities for professional development and growth
Promote a healthy work environment by sharing wellness tips and resources
Regularly check in with employees to address concerns and offer support
LexBlog has done a great job ensuring our staff has a healthy work-life balance while working remote. This has been evident in their great benefits package, suite of communication tools, and flexible work culture. We even have a company WeWork subscription that allows employees to have an in-office experience when desired, and to organize occasional, all expenses paid, full-team meetups.
The Importance of Work-Life Balance in Remote Work
In conclusion, achieving a healthy work-life balance while working remotely is crucial for maintaining productivity, mental well-being, and overall job satisfaction. By establishing boundaries, routines, and utilizing various tools and resources, remote workers can thrive in their careers and personal lives. Employers also play a significant role in supporting their employees’ work-life balance, leading to a happier and more efficient workforce. If you’re interested in learning more about my experiences and tips for maintaining work-life balance as a digital nomad, be sure to check out my blog post on the topic. Happy remote working!