Life moments that changed my definition of work-life balance
Note from the editor: Special thanks to our author, Justin Loehrke, who originally published this article on Linkedin, for allowing us to share his personal story and experiences on the Liveops blog and with our readers. Enjoy!
Why am I so passionate about the shifts we’re seeing in the mindset of the workforce?
Whether it was spending time with my beautiful wife or volunteering my time as a delegate for the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, work-life balance was always important to me or, so I thought.
For many years, I spent 8 to 5 working at an office. I just never craved or thought I needed the flexibility. I used the evenings, weekends, and my PTO to provide the balance. By the time my second child entered my life, my priorities had started to shift and I perceived flexibility as more than a perk. Two parents with cancer made it more than a necessity.
When Buffer released their State of Remote Work Report, I could have guessed the top two benefits to working remotely—flexible schedule and working from any location. After all, there were some days I was working at my parents’ bedside. There were other days I need to run and pick up medication in the middle of the day or shuffle kids around. Remember that beautiful wife? Some weeks, I was running so hard that I need to take a little longer lunch just to connect with her.
All this didn’t mean I worked any less or any harder.
There were many weeks where I found myself working on the weekends and during the evenings. It didn’t make me any less loyal to the work I was doing.
Empowerment is a motivating factor. All of this helped me grow as a person and helped me find more ways to be even more productive with the 24 hours we are all given each day.
All of that is tough to do without being able to work remotely. Today you can count me in the 99% of respondents that Buffer found that will always want the ability to work remotely. And yes, I am part of the 95% that will encourage others to do the same.
Work-life balance was impossible for me to achieve working 8-5 because I spent too much time living around work. Now I am one of the many that choose to work around my life. And just because you get my voicemail or email after normal business hours, don’t think that I will be tough to reach. After all, flexible scheduling allows me to schedule time for those things that are most important to me.
My story is unique to me, but there are many like it
In a period of my life when time was all that mattered, flexible work allowed me to be present during precious moments. In my day to day life, it allows me to focus on what’s most essential all while continuing to have a fulfilling career. I’m not alone in needing or valuing that freedom—there are many stories of how flexible work has made a difference in someone’s life.
After all, who of us can’t say we wouldn’t benefit from more control over our personal or professional lives? We are the only ones who can be an expert in what matters most in our lives.
Do you have a story to share about how flexibility has changed the way you work or live?
Share it below in the comments!