There's only so much time in the day, as the saying goes. And since the chances are pretty low that we're not suddenly going to get a bonus few hours a day to help us achieve a better work-life balance, we need to find time where it previously didn't exist. Telecommuting is one of the best ways to reclaim your personal time from a busy workweek. No commute -- or even only commuting part-time -- can add a good five to ten hours per week to the average person’s schedule, and that time that can be used for other activities that enhance your ability to lead a healthier, happier life.
If you are like the millions of working professionals trying to burn the candle at both ends by holding down a career and raising a family, you probably often find it difficult to find work-life balance. Squeezing in time for extracurricular activities like hobbies, sports and pursuing your talents can often take a back seat to other more pressing activities (fun stuff like taking kids to doctor appointments, dealing with the plumber, or going grocery shopping). And there may still not be enough time to get it all done.
did a survey of our members to see what benefits they’ve experienced from telecommuting. Here’s what we learned about what activities people are able to fit in better when they work from home:
No commute means more time to dedicate to the family and household.
It wasn't really surprising that a majority of our survey participants reported this as the top activity reclaimed, since in previous surveys we learned that many of us are working parents. BUT, it definitely reinforced how much we all are trying to squeeze in daily, and how working from home can really help accomplish more. Whether it’s cleaning the house, doing laundry, going to doctors appointments, running errands, driving our family members to/from activities, and taking care of the kids and animals – having extra hours available makes it easier to manage as a result of working from home.
Telecommuting gives people time to “stop and smell the roses”.
It's not always this way, we know, but quite a few of our survey responses pointed out the beauty in being able to enjoy life and take care of yourself more, such as the simple act of taking breaks during the workday to sit outside; go for a run or sneak in a workout video; make a healthy lunch; or spend a few minutes talking to a good friend. As one of our participants said, "I don't have the stress of GO, GO, GO, all day."
Working from home allows more time to pursue extracurricular activities.
Most of us have interests outside of work, and being able to find time for them is often hard... but important! Along those lines, some of our respondents mentioned “coaching children's sports teams, training for marathons (impressive!), enjoying book clubs and reading”.
Our survey results are not the only evidence that telecommuting produces happier, more productive employees. A recent Teleworker Survey performed by technology giant Cisco, revealed that a majority of the over 2,000 employees interviewed experienced a significant increase in work-life flexibility, productivity and overall career satisfaction as a result of their ability to work remotely. (Cisco, June 2009)
So be sure to check the FlexJobs site for great jobs with companies that are realizing the value of telecommuting in creating careers that allow for time for other activities so that employees find that work-life balance.
Published online here http://www.flexjobs.com/community/article.aspx?id=73
Tess C Taylor