If there’s one silver lining that people talk about remote working, is work-life balance. But, does working from home actually help you attain the work-life balance that you need for your life? Yes, you are exposed to several mediums to get your work done from home without involving the constant need to step out of your house, but that doesn’t mean your work-life balance is top notch, or that your job satisfaction level is at its peak.
In fact, a report suggests that four out of five attendants in a survey reported they had a hard time shutting out from work. So, if you are talking about work-life balance being the silver lining for remote work, you are likely mistaken.
Moreover, the report further suggests that people, after active reinforcement of remote working, have stopped taking mental health days because they don’t think they deserve it, especially when they are already in their home.
Impacts of Remote Working on Work-Life Balance
While remote work does cut down on commute time, enabling you to get more work done, it is also one of those situations that makes you feel obligated to work more. This is one of the most common impacts that employees have experienced in recent times.
With people working from home, it is prevalent for employees to have their workday prolong beyond general working hours. This is a good example of when it makes sense for employers to intervene and ensure that their employees are taking the needed time for their personal lives too.
Another common impact of remote work on work-life balance stems from the lack of importance on mental health. Aren’t you “just working from home?” What is so stressful about that?
These are common catch phrases that are present at the top of everyone’s minds. Remote working makes people feel like they don’t deserve a mental health day when they need one. That is where the problem arises.
However, remote working isn’t all bad for your work-life balance. Some individuals say that work-from-home (WFH) has helped them get more productive since they don’t have to worry about commuting, getting ready, harsh weather and the traffic.
So, how do you enhance your work-life balance with remote working?
Have a Schedule Sorted
The first and most important thing to keep in mind is to have a set schedule. When you have the flexibility to work from anywhere and with an asynchronous schedule, it becomes easier for you to clock-in anytime and clock-out anytime. This is where you disrupt your work-life balance. Try making a fixed schedule for your work, and then stick to it. Getting your job done on time helps you get better with your planning for the rest of the day.
Combine Work-From-Home with Work at The Office
For many, WFH 100% is not a sustainable solution, and there’s no reason why you can’t create a hybrid schedule where you WFH part-time and leverage a flexible office space solution on certain days. The future of work is flexible and coworking spaces offer enhanced productivity and focus, along with built-in communities of professionals that offer connection and interaction that you just can’t get working from home.
Look for flexible office space operators that offer membership plans specifically geared toward professionals balancing working from home and utilizing a professional workspace. Plan options usually include open coworking memberships, dedicated desks, private offices, meeting rooms, virtual office plans, and more.
As we make strides towards a post-COVID world, balancing WFH and working in a flexible office space may be the best work-life balance for many.
Focus on Taking Breaks
Not many people realize this, but the more you stay stuck to your system, the more you will get frustrated with the work. Schedule an hour or so for a personal errand that gets you out of the house and helps you get a breath of fresh air and the much-needed break your mind and body require.
Plan Things After Work
One of the primary reasons people tend to elongate their work hours beyond the expected timing is because they have nothing better to do after. That is exactly what you need to change. Not every day, but try and plan out things you’d want to do after work. It could be a night out with friends or even a pizza night with a movie at home. The excitement of plans after work helps you get things done on time.
Have a Designated Workspace
If you are working on your bed, chances are you will laze around till it becomes too much. That is exactly what you need to stop doing. Instead of working from the bedroom where you sleep, set up space around the house that keeps you motivated and focused on work. If you have room for a work office, we’d suggest you invest in that.
Impacts of Remote Work on Job Satisfaction
Much like its impacts on the work-life balance, remote work has positive and negative effects on job satisfaction. While some employees are more content working from home, some report feeling cramped up inside their homes, leading to an alarming rate of frustration with their work.
While the initial days of remote work elevated job satisfaction feelings and instilled a better work-life balance, the same has taken a toll on people’s mental health over time.
Even a UK-based report suggested that 2000 UK employees were anxious that the prolonged remote working would eventually impact their mental health for the worse. With big companies announced remote work indefinitely, chances are that the same will ultimately take a toll on people’s mental health and lead to an aversion to their job over time.
Reports from Cigna suggest that 68% of employees reported feeling stressed about their job concerning remote working. Even though the percentage of stress level has significantly reduced, employees have reported that remote working has instilled feelings of job instability and eventual stress, which impacts job satisfaction and productivity. So how do you improve overall job satisfaction when working from home?
Work and Talk with Senior Management
Having a good and open conversation with senior management often helps subside the work-related stress you might be overwhelmed with. Instead of letting the stress belittle your productivity, having an open dialogue with a senior enables you to navigate through the issues for better job satisfaction when you are working remotely.
Expand the Job Roles
One of the primary reasons for job frustration when working from home stems from similar work schedules. Working from home and feeling confined inside your home can take a toll on your well-being and mental health. If you are feeling the monotony of work hit you, try and navigate through it. Take up various job roles within your work to learn new things and get the hang of your work’s multiple facets. You can also look into developing yourself professionally by taking advantage of the array of virtual trainings, and online courses that are accessible in just about every subject you could think of.
Remote work has had both positive and negative impacts on work-life balance and job satisfaction. For the most part, the feelings are subjective and depend on the kind of work role you are in. If you were already frustrated with your work before quarantine, chances are that the remote working experience will further worsen the feeling. So, take a breather, analyze your stance, and then move ahead with what seems the best for you professionally and personally.
If you’re working from home and are looking for alternate officing solutions, check out a Pacific Workplaces location near you.