Work-life balance may finally be getting a booster shot
The desire to achieve more balance between Work, family, and leisure time has been a hot topic among leaders and employees alike for quite some time, and the ability to work from anywhere enables many to come closer to that goal.
For starters, WFA eliminates the daily commute to and from an office, which is not only extremely time-consuming for many, but also expensive. According to a 2020 study conducted by Airtasker, remote workers saved an average of 408 hours or 17 days by not having to commute, and they saved more than $4,500 on gas alone. Add up the wear-and-tear on a vehicle, and the savings grow even larger.
It also appears that many employees are putting at least some of that extra time not spent stuck in traffic into their work: remote employees spent 1.4 more days working each month than their in-office colleagues, which adds up to just slightly less time than they gained by not having to commute.
WFA employees also spent more time on themselves. For example, employees who work from home spend more than double the time doing physical exercise than those in an office, and it’s easier to attend functions at children’s schools or take relatives to the doctor. In fact, a 2018 academic study in the Journal of Business and Psychology found that remote work increased employees’ performance, job satisfaction, and commitment to their organization, while they simultaneously experienced less work stress and work-related exhaustion.
Challenges and opportunities
But even though there are plenty of benefits to the WFA model, it does create new challenges. Organizations must think creatively about how to maintain and develop a company culture, strengthen ties between employees and help people combat “Zoom gloom,” that sense of exhaustion that almost all of us have experienced after a long day chock-full of video conferencing.
Working from home also leads many employees to blur the lines between work and family time, which can ironically lead to less work-life balance.
That said, these are challenges we will overcome. In fact, in the coming articles, we’ll address these topics and more. Our goal is to provide readers with insights that will enable them to strengthen their approach to WFA so they can create an even more productive, humane and resilient working environment and, ultimately, do extraordinary work together.
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