Work-life Balance in Social Media Careers
So, you want it all…a thriving career and a life outside of work? Most people think it’s not possible; you either have to choose a career that becomes your life, or opt out of the typical working world in order to have a personal life.
Searching for a position that will allow you the best of both worlds? We are pretty pleased at BeatCreative that one of our specialties tops the charts: in 2014, the “Social Media Manager” job title was ranked #5 out of 20 and achieved a 4.3 out of 5 (where 5 is very satisfied) through a poll conducted by Forbes and Glassdoor.
First of all, what exactly is meant by “work-life balance”?
“Work-life balance is not a situation anymore where you’re at work and then you’re at home, it’s more this balancing between the two,” said Lauren Griffin, senior vice president of Adecco Staffing U.S. “It’s a common trend, generationally–people all want the flexibility, but the reasons they want it might be different.” Griffin went on to say that the younger generation tends to classify flexibility in terms of long lunches and the ability to work during off-hours, whereas Baby Boomers and Gen Xers want flexibility in order to care for their families.
Either way, general flexibility is the key. According to U.S. News and World Report in a 2015 Workplace Flexibility Study, 75% of polled employees desire workplace flexibility above all other benefits.
Based on our personal experience at BeatCreative, where our employees work nearly 100% remotely, the ticket to boosting employee morale is to allow a flexible work schedule for our social media development team. A rave review from our Online Marketing Specialist, Robyn, shows how much flexibility is valued within our social media team:
“I love the flexibility BeatCreative allows. Plus, I can wear yoga pants to work every day. Best. Job. Ever.”
With the availability of digital tools and the prevalence of smart phones, we are always connected, and therefore can respond to work requests and complete urgent tasks while away from the office.
However, being constantly “plugged in” can make it hard to step away from work. According to an article by Experteer, the trope that “social media is 24/7” makes it arguable that Social Media Managers would have a positive work-life balance. It is easy for an employee to push back and not feel like there is ever a break! Even our Content Specialist, Patrick, says:
“Balancing work and home life sounds easy when you don’t have to leave your house every day. But it’s not that simple. Working from home means the two lives bleed into one another, which can make it feel like you ALWAYS should be working on something.”
What makes a difference in balancing the work and personal is how the individual handles each sphere. Patrick went on to describe his regimented, but flexible, work approach:
“Maintaining a regular work schedule is so important. I treat it like a “normal” office job. I get up the same time every day, get dressed, walk the dog, everything someone with a commute would do. Only my commute takes me to my home office. I only write in my office, leaving the rest of the house to feel like a home, not a workplace. I tend to work until about 6:30, when my wife gets home. Then it’s family time.”
So why are social media jobs achieving such a high rating in work-life balance polls? Most likely because the positions often allow the employee to work from home or telecommute for part of the time, giving more time to do things like run errands, have a lunch date, or just take a break when needed. For me, BeatCreative’s official Social Media Project Manager, I have been lucky enough to care for my toddler at home (without putting him in daycare) and work my full work week. That’s enough for me to give my job a rating of “highly satisfied.”
Ultimately, achieving a balance between “work life” and “personal life” could be attainable for most people (social media career or not)—it’s just a matter of perspective.