Work-life balance is a joy you experienced in your first year of employment when you still had the capacity to accept any form of team collaboration, to prove that the company employed the right person.
Now you’ve been waking up routinely and sitting in traffic five days a week for the last few years and quite frankly, you’re tired of this level of comfort. You’re tempted to finally start your own business.
Here are 5 steps to achieving work-life balance once you’ve transitioned from full-time to remote work.
Step 1: Establish your working hours
Are you a morning person or do you thrive at night? The key is to establish hours that work with your levels of productivity that will ensure results.
Working only when you feel like it will obstruct your ability to separate work from personal tasks.
The beauty of remote work is that you have the flexibility of determining how long you want to work for, and when to do certain tasks; perhaps have client calls and do research on one day and complete other tasks the next.
If your new venture involves clients who are in a different time zone, think about the possibility of needing to have calls with them.
Try to build your work hours around a time that allows them to contact you immediately.
The software you need should be sorted before you start with building your remote working life, or else your time will go into trying to install everything you need, possibly resulting in an IT expert needing to pop in.
Tasks such as these need to be incorporated into your working hours because they are business related.
Step 2: Be strict with yourself to achieve work-life balance
When trying to grow your client base, you will be tempted to put in extra hours to ensure that they’re happy, to show that you can exceed their expectations and that you are reachable at any time. Although this act is noble, it will be to your detriment in the long run.
If your clients are under the impression that they can receive a response from you within an hour of emailing you, they will expect that level of service for as long as they are your client.
Our advice is to start off by unlinking your emails from your phone until you’re positive that you can handle it.
Be sure not to relax too much! It’s okay to take time off any kind of work, but then it should be done either before you start your remote work or structurally if you are already working.
Think of it this way: previously, at your full-time job, you never used to show up and then just chill with a cup of tea at your co-worker’s desk watching reruns of Game of Thrones. So don’t start now. You’re charging clients on the work you produce, and this involves less relaxing time.
Step 3: Determine your workspace
This is the greatest sense of flexibility remote work can offer you, so long as there is adequate lighting, great internet, plug points and you have the correct software.
There is no need to build an office or take out a lease on a workspace unless your operations require certain modifications.
Determining your own workspace contributes greatly to your productivity because there isn’t anyone peeking their head in for a quick chat, and there are no on-the-spot meetings.
There are other benefits such as mental wellbeing and saving money on commuting.
If you think you can just sit with your partner during indoor movie night while you are working, you’re wrong.
Work-life balance is about realising when you are the partner and when you are the business owner and committing to each role completely.
Step 4: Move away
Just from your designated workspace. When it’s time to pause or stop the work, such as a lunch break (which should be scheduled) and when you are done with your day’s work, get up from your workspace and do something else.
It is important to unwind and switch your mind off work mode. This will keep you from wanting to check just “one more thing” which is never one more thing anyway.
You will also be able to associate moving from your workspace as a time-out and will eventually become a healthy habit.
Step 5: Connect with a remote-work community
Remote work can be lonely, especially if you have moved from an open-plan office set up. If there are other remote workers in your area, discuss the possibility of meeting up with them and working together at a café every few weeks.
This can be a great opportunity to brainstorm on any great strategies you could all use or for sharing case studies to come up with solutions.
As the tasks start to pile up, consider outsourcing so that the work-life balance is maintained. The plus side is that there are remote workers who offer the services you’ll need such as administrative tasks, social media management and bookkeeping among many others.
The voice telling you that you can become self-employed is getting louder and we’re here to help you transition from full-time to remote work, should you decide to heed the call.
Book a consultation with AVirtual to ensure your time-consuming tasks are delegated to a reputable virtual assistant so you can focus on your business growth while maintaining work-life balance.