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Finding your work-life balance as a remote employee

More people than ever are working remotely and riding the waves of the work-from-home life. There are the highs (like increased productivity and reduced stress levels) and the lows (like feelings of loneliness and inconsistent communication).

But one of the biggest talking points when it comes to remote work? Work-life balance.

Yes, remote work offers plenty of flexibility and freedom, which is helpful when it comes to evening the scales between our professional and personal lives. However, remote work also blurs a lot of boundaries and makes it difficult to disconnect from “work mode.”

Need proof? Below, we’ve rounded up different remote work-life balance statistics in the following categories:

  • the upsides of remote work and work-life balance
  • the downsides of remote work and work-life balance
  • remote work and taking time off
  • the importance of work-life balance

Read on to find out why a healthy work-life balance matters, and how the remote work lifestyle impacts workers’ family life, time management, and personal health.

Employees place importance on work-life balance

What do employees—remote or not—want from their employers? Of course, everything from development opportunities to adequate compensation carries weight. But, you might be surprised by how much work-life balance matters to employees. These work life balance stats illustrate just how important work-life balance is to today’s workers and how it impacts their mental health.

  • 38% of people say their organization never or rarely makes it possible for employees to have a healthy balance between work and life.1 
  • One third of workers say work-life balance is the most important of all benefits.2
  • 66% of full-time employees in the U.S. do not strongly believe they have work-life balance.3 
  • 51% of people say they have missed important life events because of inadequate work-life balance.4
  • 68% of employees say poor work-life balance negatively impacts their morale and motivation at work.5
  • Employees who work more than 55 hours per week are at a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.6
  • Employees who work more than 55 hours per week are 1.66 times higher risk of depression, and a 1.74 times higher risk for anxiety.7
  • 33% of employed adults in the U.S. work and average Saturday, Sunday, or holiday.8 
  • 28 million Americans don’t get any paid vacation or paid holidays, which is a real detriment to their ability to maintain adequate work-life balance.9 
  • 31% of employees are willing to take a pay cut of up to 5% in order to be able to work from home at least some of the time.10
  • 53% of employees say a role that allows them to have a greater work-life balance and better personal well-being is “very important” to them.11

Work life balance stats about the upsides of remote work

Remote work gives employees more flexibility, which can mean great things in terms of work-life balance. When working remotely, many employees find it easier to build their work around their life, and not the other way around. Here are some statistics about the work-life balance perks related to working remotely.

  • 32% of people say that the ability to have a flexible schedule is the biggest benefit of working remotely.16
  • 67% of people said their work-life balance improved when they started working remotely.17
  • 30% of people say they start and finish work earlier when working remotely during quarantine.18 
  • 75% of people who work remotely do so because they say they have fewer distractions.19 
  • Work-life balance is the top reported reason that people seek flexible work, with 76% of respondents citing that factor.20 
  • 86% of people feel that working remotely reduces their stress levels.21 
  • 86% of people say that flexible or telecommuting jobs help them save money.2
  • 97% of people say a job with flexibility has a huge improvement or positive impact on their overall quality of life.23
  • Remote workers say they’re happy in their jobs 29% more than on-site workers.24 
  • Working remotely saves an average of 40 minutes daily on commutes.25

Work life balance stats about the downsides of remote work

While that increased flexibility makes up for a lot, it doesn’t mean that adequate work-life balance is a given for people who work remotely. That’s because working from home presents some unique challenges—like losing separation between your professional responsibilities and personal life, as well as struggling to unplug. Here are some statistics about the work-life balance challenges that remote workers face.

  • 51% of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home.26
  • 40% of remote workers say unplugging after hours is the biggest challenge of working remotely.27
  • 67% of people working remotely feel pressure to be available at all hours of the day.28
  • 29% of remote workers say they struggle to have work-life balance, compared to 23% of in-office employees.29 
  • On average, remote employees work 1.4 more days every month than those who work in an office.30
  • Remote workers spend an additional three hours on their computers, when compared with in-office employees.31

Statistics about remote work and taking time off

We all need some time to unplug and decompress from our work responsibilities, but that’s not always so easy when you’re a remote worker. Short breaks might be easier and more accessible, but true, unplugged vacation time isn’t quite as easy to come by.

  • 36% of remote workers in the UK said they were taking more breaks when working remotely than they did when they worked in the office.32
  • 52% of people who are working from home aren’t planning to take any time off to decompress.33 

  • Despite the fact that many remote employers offer unlimited vacation, a large chunk (43%) of remote workers took between two and three weeks of vacation time in 2019.34
  • 20% of remote workers took somewhere between no vacation and only one week in 2019.35 

How can understanding your work preferences contribute to a healthy work-life balance?

We all have preferences when it comes to how we spend our personal time. Some people enjoy leisure activities in a social setting on the weekends. Others prefer quality time alone or in nature. Others might enjoy taking a long-distance bike ride for their physical health.

The way we spend our time at work is no different. We all have unique skills, talents, and personalities that influence our work preferences. And depending on your preferences and your job role, you're likely to gain energy from some tasks and feel drained by others.

At F4S we've spent more than 20 years studying individuals, teams, and the world’s top performers to understand workplace performance, fulfillment, and wellbeing. Our evidence-based assessment tool helps you understand where you rank in relation to 48 motivational traits.

To get started, take the free F4S assessment and gain instant access to your results. This includes personal insights, motivations, and free AI coaching programs.

F4S dashboard shows what motivates you at work

F4S dashboard

Let's pretend you discover that you are low on boundaries, prefer working in groups, and learn best through hearing.

How does that affect you on a daily basis?

You might be more likely to spring up from the dinner table if you hear your work phone ping. This can have negative impacts and lead to burnout. As a remote employee, you work from home in a solo environment. This can feel isolating and lead to boredom or lack of interest in your work. You might crave remote employee engagement activities to fulfill part of your social life. Connecting with others tends to fuel your energy and productivity. And since you're are a visual or auditory learner, communicating via Slack messages all day isn't going to cut it. You're more likely to be engaged with Zoom meetings.

Feeling unmotivated?

Find out how to unlock your motivation.

Let’s dig into the root of those work-life balance statistics

In some ways, the above work-life balance stats are encouraging. Plenty of people are reaping the benefits of increased flexibility and perhaps even shorter work days as a result of working remotely.

But, it seems like a larger percentage of people are struggling with maintaining adequate balance when working from home.

Why? Well, there’s a myriad of reasons that balance is a growing challenge for remote workers. Let’s dig into some of the biggest root causes behind these numbers.

1. No physical separation between work and personal life

When you work in a traditional office environment, the end of your day typically involves signing off from your computer, packing up your bag, and leaving your workspace behind. You physically remove yourself from your office and can successfully leave work at work. Most full-time workers spend an average time of 40 hours per week within the workforce.

Things aren’t quite so clear-cut when working remotely. Even if you’ve wrapped up your workday, your computer and to-do list are still omnipresent. Maybe they’re just down the hall. Or perhaps they’re sitting there in the corner of your bedroom. Maybe they’re smack dab in the middle of your kitchen table.

When your home becomes your workspace, that lack of geographical distance between you and your work responsibilities can make it increasingly challenging to maintain a reasonable sense of work-life balance.

2. Flexible work schedule

As many of the work-life balance statistics showed, remote work hours aren't always clear.

In an office, you likely sign off around the same time every day and don’t return until the next morning. But, your work can creep into other time windows—like evenings and even weekends—when you work from home.

This is compounded by the fact that today, many remote workers are juggling their work responsibilities with a number of other obligations. For example, perhaps they need to dedicate a few of their afternoon work hours to helping their kids with homeschooling. That means those work hours get shifted to the evening when they should be disconnected and relaxing.

While flexible hours are a perk, it does muddy the waters in terms of work-life balance. There aren’t distinct boundaries between your work and your private life.

3. Pressure to be constantly connected

When your work is right around the corner and your work hours are all over the place, you feel mounting pressure to be constantly signed on and in “work mode.”

You’ve likely experienced it or participated in it yourself. Some people are sending or responding to work emails at midnight or even over the weekend.

Because there are no longer separate spheres between work and everything else, many remote workers feel like they need to be readily accessible to their colleagues and reply to pings and messages in a shorter timeframe than when they were working in an office. That can contribute to increased feelings of stress and overwhelm.

4. Job security

In a traditional office environment, it was easy for you to see what your coworkers were working on. And similarly, you know that your boss could take one quick peek at you at your desk and know that you were hard at work on your various tasks.

But when you’re working remotely? That visibility is greatly reduced.

In some ways, that is positive. It means your manager isn’t constantly peeking over your shoulder. However, it can also inspire a lot of doubt and insecurity. Will your supervisor have visibility into the hard work you’re doing, or will it slip by unnoticed? Will you still be seen as valued and necessary in your position, or will the old “out of sight out of mind” sentiment creep up?

Those concerns can fuel work-life balance struggles because employees feel the need to work even harder—as if longer hours mean greater job security.

How can you prioritize work-life balance when working remotely?

The prevalence of remote work continues to rise, and it comes with its fair share of advantages and drawbacks.

But, when it comes to maintaining a work-life balance as a remote worker, it can feel like the cards are stacked against you. For that reason, it takes a conscious effort to avoid having your work responsibilities monopolize your home and your entire life.


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