Whether you’re an owner of a business, a manager within a human resources department, or an employee within a staffing firm who provides workforce solutions, it’s important to provide those who are looking for a job or that are currently employed with options that advocate for an adequate work-life balance. Company culture plays a significant role in this, as the more supportive a work staff is with a flexible schedule, the more comfortable employees will be about taking time off. Since this is highly looked upon and is presented as a benefit that comes from a company that cares about its employees, it has the possibility to create a more passionate and driven workplace.
A healthy work-life balance is more than utilizing the weekend to take a break from work-related tasks. This benefit ensures that employees are taking even more time for themselves outside of work hours as a form of self-care, to spend time with friends and family, or to attend appointments that pertain to their health. Events like a doctor's visit, therapy session or sonogram appointment, if you’re a working soon-to-be mother, are all considered necessary for some, and important to those who want to maintain good health. For those who may struggle to focus on their personal well-being and happiness, caring about your work-life balance can prevent burnout and reduce other challenges associated with productivity and motivation as well.
This can be challenging for managers and employees who work remotely. Remote workers can commonly believe that they don’t have to take as much time off or schedule breaks throughout the day because they are already within their homes. While being in the office is a different experience, being a remote employee shouldn’t take away from your desire to want and create more balance between work and your personal life.
Here are five tips for those who are looking to build successful work-life balance habits as a remote worker:
Set Daily Goals
Crafting a list of goals can help you hold yourself accountable to the standards that are important to you within your day-to-day life. In the case of staying organized on a daily basis, it may be beneficial to keep your goals short term focused, and write them down in a notepad, journal, or planner. You can even add more creativity to this method by using labels or colored pens to associate your goals with certain times or goal types. Make sure these are achievable. If not, it can make you feel less accomplished knowing that you wrote down something that you were unable to achieve. Some ideas include signing up for a yoga class or making a reminder to walk outside throughout the day to either get some fresh air or clear your mind.
Don’t fear to communicate with another coworker about how they balance their life personally and professionally. You never know what another person may have to offer based on their own experiences with setting goals. By communicating with another person within your workplace, you could learn something that you can use within your own lifestyle to better tailor to your needs and wants.
Take a Break From Your Computer
Desktop computers or laptops can help remote workers effectively communicate with their coworkers. Through chat apps, online communication hubs, or project management tools, employees can connect with others regarding work-related tasks, team workflow, and even just to talk about how they're doing. Even though these could be an important aspect of your workday, it’s important to log off when needed. If you have plans during the weekend or schedule PTO, try to shut down your technology or turn off instant notifications so you’re not tempted to check work updates if not completely necessary.
Stay Organized With Your Finances
When you take the time to create a well-rounded budget, it signifies that you’re looking ahead into your financial future. Budgeting is a great way to gain a handle on your finances, and it can be beneficial as a remote employee learning how to properly balance work and life. Being at home doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of time and money on finding activities and resources to utilize for self-care. If you’re into fitness, look into free online workout videos, or free downloadable apps for weekly exercises to support your financial needs. Apps can be found for fitness routines, meditation, self-reflection, and other health measures too.
From a manager's perspective, staying organized and staying accountable with your budget and encouraging employees to look into financial services and online resources too can aid their spending habits and work-life while at home. As a remote employee, you may find that using an online bank account can save you time and introduce unique ways in which you can receive your direct deposit earlier than your normal payday. Budgeting applications can also be a great tool to utilize. While everything is on your smartphone, you can track your expenses and achieve financial goals right from your fingertips.
Make Your Health The Focus
Depending on the career path you’ve chosen or the workload you carry throughout the week, your health could take a significant toll, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Putting your health first can make you a better employee. It comes from something as small as getting enough sleep and eating fulfilling meals throughout the day, to practicing a form of self-care to boost personal wellness. Exercising, journaling, eating healthy, and even taking the time to call your friends or family members are all ways in which you as an employee can aid your happiness and instill a work-life balance based lifestyle.
For managers, be open with employee options, and have empathy for your remote team. It’s imperative to advocate for your staff and share that focusing on health is an important part of being an employee at your company. It shows that you care and want to provide them with options that will help them stay safe and healthy. Encourage your team to step away from their laptops to take short breaks throughout the day or to take a random day of paid time off to spend time with their family members. Be approachable, and make your coworkers feel comfortable with telling you when they need additional time to take for themselves.
While remote work can bring on new work methods and solutions, it can also be challenging for individuals to adjust or remain productive at times. Throughout your workweek, whether you're a manager or an employee, remember to always take time to reflect on what you could be doing for yourself and your staff in terms of maintaining and improving your work-life balance.