The elusive work-life balance: Options for business travellers


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The term work-life balance is a popular one these days. The idea of having the perfect equilibrium between your professional and personal life has been at the forefront of many discussions, with people often talking about how they can find this elusive balance. This has arguably never been more important than now, as we start to see a slow but steady return to offices and worked related travel after months of many of us trying to work in and around our home.

But how do you know when you’ve found this balance? And what does this look like for you? I’ve teamed up with experts to take a look at options for business travellers who want to achieve a proper work-life balance.

Changing your Country of Residence

Change is not for everyone, and this might sound like a drastic option, but if the country of your residence and work are different, then this can be a good avenue to explore. It means that when you arrive at home either at the end of the day or after a long trip away from friends and family, you’re in the same part of the world where you live. 

Besides engaging in homely activities or pastimes, you might choose to apply for indefinite leave to remain to ease your way into the change. Depending on the country and regulations, you might be in a position to either move with your family, or invite them to join you at a later date.  

Get a Family Travel Package

It can be hard to find time to fit in family life if you frequently travel for work, but you will have more opportunities with a travel package that includes your whole family. It is perfect if you’re looking for destinations that are close enough, so everyone has plenty of time together before returning home.

Virtual Meetings

If you are the only one in your office travelling, consider getting a virtual meeting set up to stay connected with everyone else. This setup is easy and takes no time out of your day, but it will help make you feel more like part of the team instead of an outsider looking in. It can also reduce calls or emails afterwards, freeing up more of your time and helping to be efficient with your calendar.

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Some people have found that a more major reassessment of their work can be made. For example, working fewer hours or even considering a return to their old job or job level. If you’re trying to downshift after years as a high-powered executive or in a more senior role, then try making these changes gradually, so there’s not such a big shock for either aspect of your life. Careful planning can really help in that regard, as can conversations with those closest to you.

Get Regular Exercise at Work

If you always feel worse after spending hours sitting down, this option may sound like one right up your alley. It might seem impossible to find room for fitness while working long days, but it’s not! Taking the stairs instead of the lift, or performing some simple stretches at your desk is a good place to start. Rather picking up the telephone can you walk to see a colleague you need to talk to? I used to work with someone who did 10 squats every hour followed by a good shake out, and another who walked a lap of her office every time she had 5 minutes to spare. Regular exercise can increase your concentration levels too!

Get Into Nature on Your Lunch Break

If you’re not lucky enough to work in an office with suitable space for outside activities, then this option might be the next best thing. Find any nearby park or green area during your lunch break and enjoy some time away from screens and computers. You could take your shoes off and walk barefoot, or simply stroll around the space giving yourself some time out. My doctor used to say that a lunch break was much more important than leaving on time to allow your brain a chance to switch gear for a while!

Working From Home

If you live in a place where your employer will let you work from home, then despite some of the challenges this can be a very good option. Make sure that you are set up with an appropriate work space (edge of your bed isn’t a long term solution!) with a comfortable chair and desk. If at all possible, consider separating the area. If you don’t have a spare room then a curtain or similar can work well to make the distinction between home and work. The particular bonus here is you will be there for family meals and bedtime stories.

The Right Type of Tech

It’s essential to think about how as an employee you organise yourself, and how your employer can help to make it easier. Choosing the right type of service provider is important to enable you to do your job. So too is providing you with job related equipment such as a laptop and separate work phone. That way you can close those down on days off to give yourself a proper rest from work related enquiries or the temptation to respond to ‘just one’ email.  

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In conclusion, there are many options available to those who want a better work-life balance. These are just a few, but I hope that you have found them helpful.

What makes your work-life balance work? Get involved in the comments box below! 

N.B. This is a collaborative post. For more information about how I work with others, please take a look at my disclosure page.