When we decided to tackle the 12 Days of Telework, one word immediately sprang to my mind: balance. For me, telework is balance. I’m still in the office regularly but I have the freedom to telework as the need arises, or if I’m simply looking for a change in scenery for a day.
Having that level of freedom gives me the peace of mind that I can effectively manage my work responsibilities and my home life responsibilities while still having some time left over for me. The opportunity to pursue and craft my own unique worklife balance is the heart of telework.
Here are just a few examples of how telework empowers my own worklife balance:
Few things throw a wrench in your week quite like the unexpected errand, such as car trouble or a doctor’s visit. Normally these events would require careful arranging, such as securing a ride to work or even using a vacation or personal day to cover the missed time.
Thankfully, telecommuting lets me easily handle any unforeseen scenarios. In the case of car trouble for example, I’m fortunate to have a trusted car repair shop located literally right next to a Starbucks. Instead of losing a day of work to car repairs or having to arrange a ride to the office, I simply bring my laptop with me, drop my car off and walk over to the Starbucks to start my day. Through tools like PGi’s Jive-powered communities for document sharing and discussions and iMeet® for my team meetings, I’m able to be just as productive (if not more so) at the coffee shop as I am in the office.
An often overlooked aspect of a healthy worklife balance is making time for your hobbies, the crafts, activities or sports that you personally enjoy and that help you relax and unwind. As we get older and take on more responsibilities at home and at the office, there’s less time to devote to learning a musical instrument, tackling new craft projects or perfecting your game on the court or the golf course.
For me, working from home gives me the opportunity to casually pursue a hobby during a break in the day or during the time I save by not having to commute. For example, I play the guitar a bit, and whenever I’m working from home, I’ll find myself strumming through a song while brainstorming or between meetings. It helps me feel connected to something I’m passionate about, relieves some stress and helps clear my mind.
Another worklife consideration that’s essential to my health (and oftentimes, my sanity) is maintaining fitness. Workouts can be difficult to fit into your schedule when work responsibilities pile up, and after a full day of work and a lengthy commute, the willpower to break a sweat often just isn’t there.
This is another area where saved commutes are a huge bonus. I can more easily fit in a workout before my workday begins or make it to the gym before the post-work rush really hits full swing. I can even sneak in a workout over my lunch break using some home exercise equipment or my apartment complex’s gym.
Ultimately, while I’m still wholly accountable for my work responsibilities, deliverables and deadlines, being able to telework on a regular basis puts the balance into my hands. I know that I’ll have the freedom to fulfill personal commitments or tackle unforeseen obstacles without worrying about my professional life suffering or interfering.
Interested in more insights on creating your own personal telework balance? Download our free eBook “The Yin + Yang of Telecommuting” today.