Work-life balance is a must for every working professional but, it is more so for those who work from home or, have opted for the remote working lifestyle.
I remember this one person who opted out the full-time job just after he entered parenthood. He wanted to devote maximum time to his wife and child, which is why he chose a job that allowed him to work remotely. His wife was a freelance designer, and both had erratic schedules and had to manage both work, their personal life, home, and the child.
He once mentioned a bit about his life and said, it is utter madness. Scheduling everything was difficult as you can never say how things will turn out when you are working from home. You don’t get even a minute’s break he used to say.
There is no balance, and I was a bit surprised. I asked him that he wanted to take the remote working just so that he can manage life a bit better, then why he seems to be complaining? To that he answered, there is no schedule, and I am unable to manage one. After talking to him for a while, I realized that though both husband and wife had opted for remote working to balance life, they had no organized manner of doing it. They had not thought through the whole idea before jumping into it.
I have seen people working from home, and I have to say that it is no cake walk. If you thought you are going to have more free time than you had when working full-time, I would say you are wrong. However, you will be able to manage things better and be happier if you really knew how to do that.
Before I jump into the whole ways to manage work-life balance, let me start by telling you about the pros and cons of working from home.
Remote Working: Why or Why Not? (Work life balance tips for employees working remotely)
Why working remotely can be fun as well as disadvantageous. Let’s have a look at both the pros and cons of this working style.
⦁ When you are working remotely, you save a lot of time that goes into commuting. For instance, you are not required to travel, and most of the work occurs from the comfort of your home. Your efficiency as a result increases and you give better results. In fact, the time saved in traveling can be spent with your family and loved ones. You get more me time as a result of remote working.
⦁ You can work from a café or from your home or even from another country. The remote working allows you to be mobile, and you are happy & satisfied as a result. With the right working methods, you will be able to reduce the working stress as well. The employee engagement I have realized is more with remote working.
⦁ Finally, you obviously save a lot of money. This is true for both the employees and employers. The employers don’t need to invest money into infrastructure. Moreover, you get to choose the time at which you want to complete the work.
Now, getting to the part where you are at a disadvantage with working remotely
⦁ There is a whole work-life balance that goes for a toss with remote working. You cannot manage everything, and because you don’t treat it as a job, you tend to spend more time just organizing everything. This results in a total mess of life, just as it was in the case of my friend.
⦁ You are easily distracted. If you don’t have a fixed schedule for the things you need to get done, you won’t be able to complete the tasks. In fact, you will spend more time watching TV or doing Facebook as a result. A rigorous schedule is mandatory if you want to actually work from home and accomplish the things.
⦁ You tend to take more breaks than necessary and some days you are just not able to work. If you don’t have the right tools with you, you may not be able to communicate or connect with the people, and thus staying in the loop with regards to work becomes difficult.
How can you manage to complete the work and ensure a perfect work-life balance with remote working style?
Family work life balance tips : Work-life balance strategies for remote workers
⦁ Stick to a schedule: While the whole purpose of working remotely is to have no schedule, it is important to organize your work and have a strict schedule that you can adhere to. It will help you manage the tasks properly, and even get some time for yourself and the family. Mark certain tasks as important, while there would be a few others that don’t really need to be done on the same day. Make sure you have priorities both personal and professional with time marked in your calendar. This way you will be able to be more productive.
⦁ Limit your distractions: I will not say you should remove all the distractions but, I will definitely say you should limit all your distractions. You should ideally have a fixed time to use social media and should know what is the perfect time to socialize on different channels, including calling people. Treat remote working same as you would at a full-time job to get the best results.
⦁ Take breaks: Most people believe that working remotely does not require you to take breaks. That is wrong! You should take a good amount of breaks even when you are working from home. In fact, with remote working, you should plan and spend time on some outing especially in the evenings. Go for long walks or just meditate while at home. It will help you rejuvenate.
⦁ Co-working can help: When you work remotely, you are spending most of your time with your own self. Not socializing can lead to loneliness, which can affect your work. You can opt to work in a co-working space, which will help you interact with other people. Some of them might belong to another industry or niche, which will broaden your outlook. It is easier on the mind when you work with people who don’t belong to your industry.
Make sure you have help on the personal front so that you don’t have to do all the chores by yourself. If you are married with a kid, support each other and ensure you have enough help on hand to manage the work-life balance.
Remote working is no different from working full-time. You need to manage all the tasks in case of remote working while handling your home and other personal tasks. You may need equal help when working remotely, even when you can work from the comforts of your home. There is a need for a strict and organized schedule to ensure the work gets done on time. You should try working out and going for long walks so that your body and mind are rejuvenated, and you are more productive.
If you feel your life is taking a toll with remote working, and want to know more about how to deal with the stress that comes with working from home, connect with me via email or phone. We can take this discussion offline, and I may be able to help you with the right organization tips and the best tools that can help you win over the situation.