Sometimes, It’s Life-Work Balance

When we talk about work-life balance, we assume that it’s the work we’re trying to balance out with life. When work-life balance is off kilter, work’s usually the offender trying its best to get too close to life’s personal space. Sometimes, however, that’s not always the case.

As a remote-first company, we have the luxury to work from anywhere we want. That doesn’t just impact the day-to-day, but it alleviates the stress off of life’s bigger decisions.

Over the past five years, several of our employees have relocated. Chicago-to-Austin. Chicago-to-Seattle. D.C-to-Tucson. Chicago-to-San Francisco. Chicago-to-Ft. Myers. Denver-to-St. Louis. Chicago-to-San Francisco-to-Portland-to-Chicago again. We’ve introduced a small army of new children to the company (including one of my own). People have had to relocate a few months while transitioning between homes. A few of us are in the middle of some of these changes as I write. Life happens.

All of this is exciting stuff. But, it’s also stressful stuff. For many of us, the one surprising constant has been the work. I’ve stumbled upon this conversation with several folks here recently. In each case, working in the way we do provided someone a periodic escape from life’s big changes.

A few years back, I got married and moved to San Francisco in the course of three weeks. My wife began a new career out here. I was leaving the town I’ve called home since birth. But, the mental transition went much smoother than I’d imagined. It was tethered by the constancy of an eight-hour day with the same folks I’ve been working with for a few years. The same laptop. The same apps. The same video chats. Just a new background I sat in front of.

This wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t a remote-first organization. Transitioning from an in-house to remote employee would’ve been another big change to acclimate to. Instead, work was the fuzzy blanket that I could hold onto for those first few transitional weeks.

Sometimes you just might look to work to help you balance out the chaos of life, not the other way around.