Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
They found that while half of the time gets channeled back into work (hence the truism that remote workers work longer hours), the other half is used doing recreational activities and things that virtual workers want to do.
Regardless of how you parse the numbers, it’s rare to find a remote worker who feels that working from home is a time suck.
In an informal survey of freelancers and other remote workers asking how remote work gives you more time for life, respondents shared a wide range of ways that their remote jobs give them better balance and the ability to incorporate more things they care about into their workweeks.
Here are some of their top responses.
Ability to Be Present for Parenting
Jasmine Bloemhof, founder and senior PR strategist of The PR Guild, who has been freelancing as a PR strategist and practitioner for a decade, explained that she’s grateful to work from home because it has allowed her to simultaneously experience motherhood and her career in a “really magical way.”
As a mom to five children, ages 15 to 1, remote work has allowed her to be available to her children in a way that she doesn’t think she’d find working in an office, “building someone else’s dream.”
“Remote work has offered me an autonomy that allows me to stack my work in a way that works for my family, and complete freedom in my schedule to never have to ‘ask permission’ to be at my children’s activities, snuggle them when they are sick, or take a day or two off to explore a new place,” Bloemhof said.
Juggle Work-Life Demands
Bloemhof added that remote work allowed her to stay safe and nurtured during the pandemic and has connected her to an amazing network of entrepreneurs and business owners with similar values.
“Lastly, it has allowed my children to experience my work alongside me, demonstrating a firsthand account to them of grit, perseverance, and passion that I don’t know that they’d witness otherwise,” Bloemhof said.
Laura Macaulay, graphic design freelancer and founder of Navigate by Design in Dublin, Ireland, also feels lucky to have a flexible arrangement working remotely.
“As a mother of two small children, this has allowed me to juggle work-life demands,” Macaulay explained. “I would struggle to manage this balance if I was in full-time employment. I am able to pick up the work again later in the day if need be, allowing me to be available for any important family-related events during the day.”
Freedom to Set Your Own Schedule
“Time reclamation” is what Nicholas Bortoluzzi, founder at SEO Lynx, enjoyed when working just over three years as a remote marketing freelancer in London, England.
“I have found that working remotely has given me more time for other things in my life,” said Bortoluzzi.
“With the freedom to work from home, I am able to fit my work around my life. I can set flexible hours and use my free time to pursue hobbies, spend time with family, or even just relax. This kind of work arrangement has given me more control over my schedule and allowed me to focus on the things that are important to me.”
Flexibility in Freelancing
Dorota Pawlak, translator, writer, and author of “Successful Freelancer’s Mindset” and “You’ve Got This: How to Continue Your Freelance Career When You Become a Mother,” shared that working in her freelance business over the last 12 years has given her ample freedom to shape her day the way she wants to.
“For example, I start my day from a long yoga and meditation practice, and I take a two-hour break in the afternoon to spend more time with my daughter when she finishes her school,” Pawlak said.
“Whenever there’s a family emergency, I’m always able to adapt my working schedule as well. All in all, I think the flexibility that comes with freelancing gave me more freedom, and more fulfillment, in business and private life.”
Meeting Your Own Needs for Better Quality of Life
Kristen King, a certified life and business coach and mental health/wellness facilitator, has worked full-time from home since 2006 and loves the work-life balance remote work allows.
Based in Leadville, Colorado, King specializes in helping women break free from perfectionism and people-pleasing to create more space for themselves in their own lives — and she does it all from her home office.
Previously, she worked remotely as a digital/content strategist for a public health consulting firm for over a decade and built a six-figure communications consulting firm from her home before that.
“Whether I’ve been employed or running my own business, I’m so much better able to meet my own needs and be more productive when working from home,” King said.
“Little things like being able to play with my dogs throughout the day, toss in a load of laundry between meetings, and make it to my favorite yoga class without having to deal with traffic or coming home exhausted have dramatically improved my quality of life.”
Save Time by Skipping the Commute
King emphasized that she gets an extra 25% of her day with a 15-second commute compared to the years she spent sitting on trains for hours in the morning and evening and barely ever seeing sunlight.
“I can hop on my Peloton bike over lunch, dip out for a few minutes to help my kids with something anytime they need it, and spend my working time in a space that I love that is physically and mentally comfortable for me — so I get a lot more done in a lot less time and my mental health is massively better than when I spent most of my waking hours in an office cubicle. I can’t see ever going back to office life!”
Find a Job That Gives You More Time for Life
Whether you’re a working parent, seeking the freedom to set your own schedule, or looking for a better quality of life, a remote job can help you find the work-life balance you need.