Remote work is here to stay in one form or another for some companies and teams around the world. Yet, despite the benefits that work from home has to offer, there are drawbacks too. And one of the most often cited challenges is the absence of a remote work-life balance.
Top 4 reasons why remote work-life balance is important
Work-life balance has been a hot topic in the modern workplace for many years but it’s more important now than ever before. According to the same Buffer report, 27 percent of remote workers are not able to unplug from job commitments. Without being able to disconnect from work by leaving an office and going home, it’s harder than ever to shut down and unplug.
The good news is that finding a work-life balance will benefit your work and personal life in many ways. Let’s find out what are the main benefits.
Finding balance decreases stress
While stress can occur in any professional environment, for 29 percent of remote employees, this stress will lead to burnout, suggests a Gallup survey. People who experience high burnout levels are:
- 63 percent more likely to require sick leave
- 23 percent more likely to be hospitalized
- 13 percent more likely to doubt their work performance
On the other hand, those who separate their work and home lives report lower stress-related outcomes. These people greatly reduce their anxiety, depression, emotional fatigue, and psychological distress, according to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Find work-life balance: Separate your home and work life by creating a space in your home meant just for working. If you can’t do that, intentionally put your laptop and other work items in a drawer or cupboard when done work. This moment will mark the switch to non-work time.
Balance enhances creative thinking
Work-life balance restores the energy, alertness, enthusiasm, and vigor to think creatively, according to the International Business Research Journal. When you think about it, this makes sense. If your mind is able to rest from the continuous stimulation of emails, projects, and virtual meetings, you can return to those tasks the next day with a fresh, renewed, creative lens.
More importantly, when this part of the brain is functioning at its peak, you’re more equipped to innovate, reach goals and solve problems.
Creativity is one of the five most sought-after skills across all industries. In order to make room for creativity though, you need to be mentally sharp. And that’s where an intentional remote work-life balance comes into play. It empowers you to replenish energy reserves and optimize the cognitive functions you’ll need o be able to innovate.
Find work-life balance: If you can’t seem to finalize a project in a reasonable time, put it away until tomorrow instead of forcing a few more hours. You’ll come back with more creativity and likely get it done even faster.
Work-life balance boosts productivity
A sustainable work-life balance can also impact how productive you are. Teams that prioritize work-life balance exhibit high dedication, concentration, motivation, and organizational commitment. All of these result in increased productivity levels.
This allows for focused, uninterrupted workflow during the allocated time frame, followed by decompression and rejuvenation off the clock.
Find work-life balance: Get critical of your to-do list, including only what needs to get done each day. Rather than trying to fit it all in, focus on the most important tasks and let that be enough.
Remote work-life balance leads to greater job satisfaction
There is a direct correlation between the practice of remote work-life balance and the degree of job satisfaction. The introduction of a flexible remote work schedule can boost job satisfaction initially. However, the WFH structure on its own is not enough to sustain overall job satisfaction on the long-term, based on a 2020 research from the Institute of Labor Economics.
As this study reveals, those who separate their professional obligations from their personal time, space, activities, or interactions find more enjoyment and less exhaustion in their work.
When remote employees create boundaries for working hours, this separation filters into home and family time as well. Being fully present on the job and making a point to unplug and connect at home in the off hours leads to more happiness.
Find work-life balance: Put both personal and work obligations on your calendar each day. Prioritizing both, in the same way, is a daily reminder to find and maintain that balance.
The many benefits of finding balance
It’s often a challenge to maintain clear, intentional boundaries between the professional and personal when working from home. If you live and work in the same location, these two spheres are bound to overlap sometimes.
However, the more you prioritize remote work-life balance as a daily part of your routine, the more benefits you will experience. Don’t ignore this necessary lifestyle change if you want to be at your best, both at home and at work.