Work-life balance for online English teachers

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From Acadsoc Ltd. Google+ Channel.

The concept of work–life balance is always open for discussion. With the advent of the internet and an increased amount of technology such as smart phones allowing access to your “work” through connectivity, the concept of work now far exceeds the spatial orientation of the typical working space and seeps into our personal, private lives. These days, work knows no bounds.

So then we hear the expression “work-from-home”, where the concepts ‘work’ and ‘home’ begin to co-exist in the same place. Because of this, the challenge now becomes more magnified, and the need to find a ‘balance’ comes to the fore.
With all these considerations in mind, how do we address the question of finding balance between the two? Much to the chagrin of people who work from the comforts of their home, how does one begin to find a semblance of balance?

It’s very important to remember that ‘balance’ in this case doesn’t necessarily mean an ‘equal balance’. To define balance based on the number of hours you’re supposed to allot for work and for your activities at home becomes tiring and unrewarding. Ari Horie, founder and CEO of Women’s Startup Lab discourages the use of the word ‘balance’ because it presupposes right–wrong or black–white binaries. Instead, she proposes to use the word design, which allows for a more lenient and flexible approach of dealing between work and home activities.

Work-life balance for online English teachers

So in approaching a balance or design in our everyday decisions and responsibilities, try to consider these things and find ways to create a more meaningful and rewarding work-from-home experience.

1. Your right balance varies each day.

You might find yourself in a situation where you feel invested with your work, and you’re feeling the momentum of it. Don’t worry. Go with the flow. Sometimes, our most productive endeavors come from a place and time where the need most usually arises.

2. Your right balance can vary over time.

Your kind of balance when you’re single will be different when you find yourself with a partner. It can also vary depending if you have kids or when you’re nearing your retirement period. It’s not a one-size fits all template.

3. Your right balance will depend on the sense of achievement you get out of what you do.

Ask yourself, Do I feel a sense of achievement for every task I put myself into at the end of the day? If not, then you might want to reconsider other options. But if the answer to the question is a big, resounding yes, then you’re on the right track. Being able to see beyond its deceptive simplicity can put meaning into what you do, which will result to a positive balance.

4. Your right balance will depend on the amount of enjoyment you get out of what you do.

Are you happy with what you’re doing? Do you get an overwhelming feeling of pleasure in doing what you’re doing? These may seem like fruity questions to ask yourself, but it’s definitely worth asking. Do you feel proud of what you do? Do you celebrate it with the people who matter to you? Is it satisfying?

5. There are no hard and fast rules to getting the right balance.

It’s when we fully understand how work and life play out in spite of the difficulties that come with it that we begin to feel a feeling of peace and serenity.

With all this in mind, it’s also important to remember that work–life balance includes work, family, friends and the self.

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