What is Work Life Balance and Why is it Important When Working Remotely
If you need help creating a healthy lifestyle, learning what a work-life balance is and why it is important when working remotely, learn more here.
Work is an essential part of many people’s lives. It’s what keeps the energy flowing, gives us purpose, keeps the money coming in, and the food on the table. But anything in excess can be bad for you, and work falls into this category too. This is why having a good work-life balance is essential even for good workload management.
Today, employers expect more and more from their staff, which leads workers to generally feel pressure to achieve more and better results. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but not having a good balance between work, rest, and personal life can make it more challenging to obtain good results at work and even be harmful to our mental health and general well-being.
More and more people are pushing themselves harder or working longer hours. Especially when you work remotely, the boundaries between work and personal life tend to become very blurred.
Some workplaces motivate their staff to achieve a good work-life balance which keeps employees happy and motivated, consequently generating better results. But, for the remote worker, finding this work-life balance is, above all, a personal challenge that is not always so easy to achieve. In this article, we offer some tips to help remote workers search for techniques to better balance work and personal life.
We will talk about why it is so important to promote and take care of this balance, and we will also highlight some benefits that it could bring to your personal and professional life. So if you are a remote worker looking to enhance your productivity and time management. In short, this article will look at what work-life balance is, and why it is important.
What is Work-life Balance?
When we talk about work-life balance, many people would think of balancing the time they spend working and living their personal life on a balance sheet or schedule. But the truth is that time is not the only element to consider in maintaining a good work-life balance. In short, you can’t balance your life as if you were playing with a scale.
Why is Work-life Balance important when working remotely?
Many of the hacks to keep a good work-life balance revolve around time management. In trying to dig deeper into what an excellent work-life balance looks like when working remotely, many people agree that it involves the following:
- Be present at the moment and give yourself space to think.
- Have a more significant impact both at work and in the world without sacrificing your personal life, health, or happiness.
- Prioritize what is important to you, including personal care, without the feeling of guilt or shame.
- Have a positive impact on the life of your family or your children if you have them.
- Have well-established limits that you feel good about complying with and reinforcing.
- Letting go of that feeling of wanting to do or have it all.
Considering all this, we can then say that a good work-life balance is about feeling satisfied with who you are and your decisions. The work-life balance is not something you find but rather mold and create for yourself with your decisions.
In addition to improving your personal life, achieving a balance also improves the productivity and performance of employees. If, as a remote worker, you do not see work as a chore, it will be more comfortable for you to work harder, you will make fewer mistakes, and you will be able to better engage with the work.
Tips on How to Improve your Work-life Balance when Working Remotely
The truth is that there is no exact formula that applies to everyone in the same way. Still, there are small habits and routines that you can combine and apply to your life and to your time management to improve that balance between your work duties and your personal life, thus, achieving better general well-being.
There are some great resources and books on work life balance. Some of the things you can promote in your life to achieve an improved work-life balance are:
Flexible Work Environment
Balancing a flexible yet productive work environment can be challenging as a remote worker. Flexibility in the work environment emphasizes the willingness and ability to adapt to change.
In a flexible work environment, both your needs and your clients’ needs are very important. For any remote worker, promoting a flexible work environment for you and being productive and efficient for your clients is essential for having a good work-life balance.
Set Clear Boundaries
Setting clear limits and promoting them is also vital to maintaining a remote worker’s balance, health, and productivity. Respecting the boundaries of work hours and dedicated breaks is essential to avoid burnout, procrastination, or wasting energy on unproductive activities. Try to manage your time well and respect the limits that you set for yourself in terms of working hours, breaks, and off-hours.
Cultivate a Happy Work Environment
It is crucial to cultivate a work environment where you feel happy and motivated to work. Choosing the right job for you and engaging regularly with coworkers can help to achieve this.
When you feel energized about your job and the people you work with, you will be naturally drawn to work. That work-related feeling of happiness is vital to keeping you motivated and productive. Consequently, it will make it easier for you to maintain an efficient work routine and a satisfactory work-life balance.
Schedule Family Time
Scheduling family time is also critical. Especially when you are a worker very committed to your work goals, and primarily when you work remotely. It can be easy to let family time fall into the background when your home is also your office.
This can affect everyone in your household. This is why it is vital to give your family the necessary time and attention they deserve. In addition, you may be surprised what quality time with your children, with your partner, or your family can do for your productivity.
Prioritize Social Connections
Social connections are just as important as family time to maintain good mental health and stress.
Taking time with friends to just relax and have a good time can help you unwind from any work-related stress. Sometimes when we have a heavy workload, feeling stressed or even experiencing creative block can be unavoidable. At times what we need is to step away and social connections can help you sweep away any type of stress and even help you see things from another point of view when you return to your work.
Cut Down on Screen Time
This is part of managing your time and is more important than you might initially think to achieve a good work-life balance. Spending too many hours in front of the screen can be bad for your physical and mental well-being.
It can strain your eyes, cause headaches, backaches, mental or creative blocks, and stressful burnout. Sometimes, it is simply necessary to cut the time you spend in front of the screen to have better productivity when sitting back in front of your computer or reaching for your phone to work.
Learn How to Say No
Learning to recognize your limits and know when to say no is very important when working remotely and dealing with clients. Whether you are your boss or an employee, it is good to be very clear about how much workload you can carry and when you should decline work, or job offers to maintain your well-being.
Learn How to Delegate
This applies to remote workers who are part of a work team or a company and know how to say no. To maintain a good work-life balance, you must know when to delegate and distribute the workload with your work team. It is unnecessary to feel guilt or shame when you do not know how to cope with a task or have a heavier workload than you can handle. Knowing when to delegate is a key characteristic of any good leader and essential for an optimal and productive team.
Learn How to Ask for Help
To keep the job optimal and well done, it is vital to recognize and admit when we need help. Whether from one of your co-workers or even the internet, asking for help has nothing wrong and can avoid many inconveniences and bad times with clients or in your work environment. Plus, it can save you a lot of time on fixes that you might have been able to avoid.
You might be surprised by the effect a short 10 or 20-minute break during work can do on your creativity and productivity. Sometimes when you face mental blocks, or your mind is tired of focusing on the same topic, a short pause can help you de-stress and see things from another point of view. It is good to take active breaks.
If possible, you can go out for some fresh air, take a walk, do some physical activity, or just take a moment to think about something else. Short breaks can significantly help you keep your work-life balance optimal and efficient.
Make Meditation Part of your Life
A meditation routine can also be an excellent way to decompress. Some tools can help you meditate like online meditation guides, meditation pillows, or even relaxing music with sounds and sound frequencies specially designed to help you meditate better.
Whichever way you do it, making meditation part of your day-to-day life can work miracles for your overall well-being. Sometimes it is necessary to take some time to regain the mental balance needed to feel at peace with yourself.
To achieve a good work-life balance, you have to be well and feel well, and a few minutes of meditation a day can truly help.
Benefits of a Healthy Work-life Balance when Working Remotely
When working remotely, not managing the time you dedicate to each aspect of your life can lead to increased stress and fatigue. It can generate friction between you and your family and even cause health problems and physical discomfort. Whereas, promoting a healthy work-life balance can bring you several benefits such as:
When you balance your workload, increase your productivity, and take time for yourself, you will naturally notice a reduction in your stress. It’s one of the most notable benefits of promoting a healthy work-life balance when working remotely. Less stress usually means less burden, less hassle.
In addition, when you do not relate work to feelings of stress or anxiety, but a sense of accomplishment and achievement, you will naturally feel drawn to carry out your daily tasks.
Improved Mental Health
It is common for many people to underestimate the importance of mental health within the workplace. But above all, and especially when working remotely, to maintain good productivity at work and good mental and general health, it is essential to pay attention to managing our emotional burdens, levels of stress and anxiety, and the time we dedicate to ourselves. Maintaining productivity is a complex task, and mental health is vital for a healthy work-life balance.
Better Physical Health
In addition to mental health, promoting a healthy work-life balance when working remotely will also improve your physical health. Sitting at the computer may not seem like a strenuous activity, but too many hours in front of a screen can trigger back problems, headaches, eye strain, drowsiness, lethargy, cramps, and many other health conditions that vary from person to person.
Balancing the time you spend working in front of the computer with active breaks, stretching, physical activity, family time, or simply leisure time can save you many physical health problems in the long run.
Enhanced Ability to be Present
When you balance your time better and manage your energy better, your mind will not feel so saturated or tired, which will avoid those mental lags that fatigue sometimes creates. You’ll feel that you are more present in the here and now, and you will notice an increase in your ability to focus.
When you work remotely, being more present is a great advantage as it allows you to be more proactive and be more attentive to what is happening around you. Therefore, you will adapt more easily to changes and spend less time stressing.
Without a doubt, when you dedicate a little more time to your relationships, things tend to get better. Sometimes to solve or improve certain situations as a couple or even with family members, you just need to dedicate a little more attention and time to your relationship with them. Promoting a healthy work-life balance involves making time for your relationships.
If all is well at home, you will feel better and calmer when it comes to working.
Increased Engagement at Work
By improving your work-life balance, increased commitment to your work will come naturally. If you manage to relate your work to positive things, you will feel more committed to it. This is one of the great benefits of promoting a healthy balance between work and personal life, as it allows you to feel more motivated when it comes to work and make better use of the time you spend working.
Increased Creative Thinking
One of the consequences of burnout, mental fatigue, or high-stress loads can be creative blocks. Creative blocks can make productivity a complete challenge in many jobs that usually require creativity to get things done. When you rest and manage your time better, you give yourself the time and mental space to reassess your work and increase your creative capacity.
In turn, this boosts your productivity and your work capacity since it allows you to find innovative solutions to the obstacles that are presented to you and, at the same time, allows you to see things from different angles.
Many times, when you work remotely, you don’t have a boss supervising your work habits, and — even if you do — promoting balance and productivity in your life will depend on your choices. One of the benefits of achieving a healthy work-life balance is the increase in productivity at work, in your relationships, in your physical and mental health, and with your family.
Real Happiness and Fulfillment
Achieving a healthy work-life balance usually leads you to experience a sense of accomplishment. It strengthens your sense of achievement and improves your self-esteem allowing you to move through life more confidently and achieve your goals with certainty.
Higher Level of Success
By eliminating distractions, better balancing your time, sweeping away stress, and addressing your mental health, your physical well-being, and your relationships, you will feel comfortable enough to tackle your daily tasks with your best foot forward.
All these qualities applied to your work and personal life day after day will consequently lead to an increased chance of success in all the goals you set for yourself, both personally and professionally.
So try it for yourself! Create your work-life balance and reap the rewards of a stress-free life.