By Productivity

Work life balance is an elusive notion for many. Most of us are working longer hours and juggling more responsibilities than ever before.

We live in the digital era, where new software, apps and gadgets are released daily in an attempt to automate the mundane and make our lives easier.

And we rely on the internet for everyday tasks we used to do in person, like paying bills, buying groceries, studying and even talking to friends.

So as the walls of life are increasingly closing in on us, why are so many still wasting precious time commuting to work each day, to be tied to a desk from nine to five, or longer? Missing out on special occasions, family milestones, or just some much-needed rest.

The remote work revolution is well and truly upon us, and leading companies around the globe are opting for remote distributed teams over the traditional bricks and mortar office. That means people from a wide range of professions can now work from home, or anywhere they choose, providing autonomy, flexibility and that all-important work life balance.

A recent study by the Centre for Work and Life at the University of South Australia found working Australians are under increasing pressure from growing work-life interference. That stress stemmed from unpaid overtime, working early mornings, late nights and weekends, juggling multiple responsibilities such as full time work and parenting, and not having access to flexible work arrangements.

The OECD Better Life Index also reflects this worrying trend, with Australia ranking 8th for poorest work-life balance of 38 countries in the world, only just ahead of South Africa, Iceland, Japan, Israel and Korea. By contrast, people in the Netherlands report the greatest work life balance, closely followed by Denmark, France, Spain, Belgium, Norway and Germany – all countries where flexible working options are more accessible.

Perhaps the greatest barrier to work life balance is the lack of awareness of the career opportunities that now exist in the virtual workspace. Accountants, lawyers, journalists, designers, programmers, receptionists, translators, teachers, salespeople, real estate agents, data entry, customer support staff, even doctors and nurses, can all now work from home.

More and more remote job opportunities are opening up every day, giving people the flexibility to choose when and where they work. For many industries, there is no longer a need to battle peak hour traffic only to spend all day at a cubicle staring at a computer screen.

The growing realisation of the career freedom that now exists will push even more employers to offer flexibility, simply to retain and attract staff. Unlike employers only hiring locally, virtual teams aren’t limited to the best applicant in their postcode – they can source the best talent from anywhere in the world. So companies that resist the remote work movement and prioritise office presence over productivity, will inevitably find themselves on the other side of history.

Some might argue that not everyone wants to work from home, and that may be true. But there are plenty of co-working venues to offer the social aspect of office life, while retaining the freedom and flexibility that remote work offers. And honestly, who doesn’t want to hit snooze on Monday morning, or knock off at lunch time on Friday?

Remote work is not only the future of work – it’s here, and it’s working, right now.

Remote Work Hub lists new remote job vacancies daily; full time, part time and contract work from home and work from anywhere jobs.

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