Seeking to Improve Your Work-Life Balance? Practice These 6 Simple Steps

a woman working while trying to take care of her baby

Canva/Fairygodboss

Jessica Howington for FlexJobs
Jessica Howington for FlexJobs
May 29, 2024 at 9:49PM UTC
Attaining work-life balance is oftentimes a struggle for many professionals. The demands of work and life frequently seem to conflict with each other.
But to what extent are job seekers willing to go to find the balance they need?

Professionals Value Work-Life Balance Over Better Pay

Well, according to FlexJobs’ 2022 Career Pulse Survey, they’re willing to find a job with flexibility over a bump in pay. In fact, 63% of the 4,000 respondents stated they would choose better work-life balance over better pay—only 31% would choose better pay over work-life balance.
Here’s the breakdown:
  • Definitely better work-life balance (44%)
  • Probably better work-life balance (19%)
  • Definitely better pay (15%)
  • Probably better pay (16%)
  • Not sure (6%)
But that’s not all. Job seekers are also heavily invested in keeping or obtaining a remote or hybrid job. Specifically, 87% of respondents stated that a remote or hybrid job would or already has improved their work-life balance. So, it should come as no surprise that only 3% are looking to go back to the office 100% of the time.
In addition to the above stats, professionals have shared that:
  • 65% prefer a 100% remote work arrangement
  • 32% would prefer a hybrid workplace
  • 57% stated they would look for a new job if they couldn’t continue to work remotely
Clearly, many people want remote work—there are numerous benefits in addition to finding work-life balance. Here are a few of the biggest reasons:

Cost savings.

Most remote workers, depending on their lifestyle, will save money by working from home. Of the survey respondents, 45% estimate they save at least $5,000 a year by working remotely, with one in five estimating a cost savings of over $10,000 per year by working remotely. Twenty-nine percent estimate they save at least $2,600 a year. These cost savings can be seen through less money spent on food outside the house, clothing, and energy savings.

Happiness.

Being able to work when and where you feel most comfortable not only makes you more productive but leads to an overall better mood. In the FlexJobs survey, 84% of respondents said that having a remote or hybrid job would make them a happier person in general.

Mental health.

Of those who have mental health issues, 77% think having a remote or hybrid job has or would help them manage their mental health issues. Even without a diagnosis or impact from a mental health issue, there are numerous mental health benefits. (We all have tough days!)

Finding and Practicing Better Work-Life Balance

Keep in mind that once you find your ideal work environment to create the type of work-life balance you’ve been seeking, it can require ongoing check-ins with yourself to make sure that you maintain it. Even the most experienced remote worker will fall into the grind and can suffer from burnout. Below are a few simple ways you can find and practice better work-life balance.

Set boundaries and a schedule.

Sticking to a regular schedule is important to help maintain productivity when working from home. It helps to create a pattern and habit that is easier to maintain. Additionally, set boundaries and stick to them. When work hours have a beginning and an end, it’s easier to set boundaries with family members, coworkers, and managers.

Take breaks.

Once people get the hang of working from home, they often move from task to task and lose track of time, forgetting to take breaks. Make sure to take time to reflect and regroup so you don’t hurt your performance. It’s important to create space between actions, tasks, and responsibilities.

Connect with coworkers.

Connecting with your coworkers and team about non-work stuff can help to create a little extra space at work. Whether it’s about the hottest streaming show or trading healthy meal recipes, social support and connection can help remote workers decompress and build stronger relationships.

Practice self-care.

Schedule and stick to a self-care routine. Taking time for yourself can bring balance to each day and provide the energy needed to make it through. Prioritize exercise, hobbies, or a workday meditation practice. Anything that brings you joy and peace will positively impact your ability to achieve better work-life balance when working remotely.

Use your PTO.

Studies have shown that vacations can improve health and productivity, reduce stress, and are essential to maintaining mental health and preventing burnout. Additionally, taking regular vacations can help workers become better engaged and more productive employees.

Seek support.

There may be times when taking breaks and self-care days are still not enough. Mental health is important, so don’t be afraid to reach out to a family member, friend, colleague, human resources team, or an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) for support and resources.
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This article originally appeared in FlexJobs. FlexJobs is the leading career service specializing in flexible work, providing the largest database of vetted remote and flexible job listings. To support job seekers in all phases of their journey, FlexJobs offers a range of services including expert advice, job search events, and career coaching. FlexJobs also works with leading companies to recruit quality remote talent and optimize their remote and flexible workplace.

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for maintaining work-life balance? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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