The concept of work-life balance has been discussed again and again in modern parlance; chiefly because it touches on the need for people to combine two infinitesimal components of their lives: work and everything else e.g. raising a family, taking care of health, a side hustle etc.
While it might seem like an employer shouldn’t be bothered by what makes up the time spent outside of work by his/her employees, it is increasingly clear that these things affect employees’ overall productivity at work. This is particularly true of the folk who form a huge percentage of the workforce – middle aged individuals – who are more likely to be raising families (with little kids) and who also want to advance significantly on their charted career paths.
It is even more difficult if these workers have to deal with the additional burden of long commutes to and from work. For instance, spending more time in traffic reduces both the amount of time spent at home as well as the productive hours at work. Considering that most large cities such as Toronto and Los Angeles with growing populations are bereft with issues regarding effective commutes, commuting (and the preparation that goes into it) has become one of the most boring, time-consuming tasks for the average 9-5er. How can this be rectified or at least improved on?
Living in Smaller Cities
Lesser crowds, lower costs of living and a family-friendly environment are just a few of the numerous benefits attendant with living in a relatively small city. However, it is also true that a small city is less likely offer you the immense job opportunities a larger city will afford you. However, if you’re able to get a good job offer in a small city, you’d definitely be spending less time in traffic, thus helping you better attain work-life balance. Also you can afford a larger property in smaller cities.
Living Close to the Workplace (In Larger Cities)
The option of moving to a small city might not be on the radar for some commuters, and that’s totally understandable! How about you choose to move closer to your workplace? Now, this typically means you’ll be moving to a crowded/more expensive part of the city where you’d have to make the choice of a Condo vs. Detached house; however, you need to keep in mind that houses here are more expensive and your monthly mortgage payment can become really unaffordable. But would you be able to save money and time on commuting? Definitely!
Living in the Suburbs of Larger Cities (Closer to the Train Lines)
If you’re choosing to remain in a large city and can’t afford to move to an area close to your workplace, another excellent option would be to live in the suburbs of a large city, and close to the train lines. Since the suburbs are like an intersection between the busy and quieter areas of the city, you enjoy some of the benefits of living in a smaller city without moving to one! Also, you use the train lines to commute to city centers if you choose a house not far from them (a pro tip is to spend your commute time reading/watching/listening to something interesting. This is an actual genius idea!)
Working from Home
If your job offers you the possibility of working remotely, take it! For most computer-related jobs, it has been discovered that working from home is just as effective as working in the office; thus limiting the actual need to always be physically present at work. What’s the use of a long commute when you can spend half the time churning out productive results?
Investing in Public Transit
You might be wondering how this is any of your business, seeing as building an effective public transport system is a job for the government. While this is true, you can play your part by supporting politicians who consider a working public transit system a priority. This way, everyone wins!
Spending less time commuting to work forms an often under-utilized weapon for work-life balance. Every employee can take one or more critical steps to ensure a productive yet amazing life; such as living close to the workplace or closer to the train lines of suburbs, working from home, investing in public transit or even choosing to live in a smaller city. It’s a relatively small price to pay for a happy, productive life!