Improve your work/life balance with The Remote Work Queen

Meet Libryia Jones, The Remote Work Queen. Libryia is an IT Project Manager, helping companies implement software that organized their data. She loves her day job, the work she is able to do and the people she works with daily.
Outside of working 9-5, Libryia runs a community of over 21,000 women who love to travel with (and without) their children. She teaches people how to find and land remote work.

What inspired you to switch to remote work?

I’ve worked remotely off and on since 2008, for different reasons.

In the beginning, it was because I needed to make extra money but didn’t want to have to pay for my daughter to be in childcare while I worked a 2nd job. It’s tough when single moms have to choose between family and finances and, quite often, the cost of childcare eats most of the extra money made. I’m grateful I was able to land a customer service position working from home. 

In 2013, I was inspired to work from home so that I could be there for my family more. I felt like I was racing the clock after work every day. I had to leave work, rush to daycare, rush home to get my daughter changed, rush her to soccer practice, rush her back to do her homework, feed her, get her bathed and tuck her into bed. Then I’d do it all again the next day. It just didn’t feel like I was spending any real-time with my daughter. I decided I wanted to be home every day when school was out, I wanted her to have that “extra” 2 hours to ease into her afternoon and evening routine. It made such a huge difference. 

In 2015, I wanted to travel more and to build a business. I loved my job but I didn’t like the general office culture of having to look busy all the time. I work pretty efficiently and wanted to use any downtime to build my travel business. I also wanted the opportunity to travel the world and not be tied to a cubicle. 

Now, I’m inspired by freedom. The freedom to, on any given day, choose where I feel most creative and productive. Sometimes, that actually is the office. Sometimes it’s my home office or a coworking space or a beachside apartment in Mexico. I’m typing this from a coffee shop in my hometown Tallahassee. I came here to visit my family and celebrate my HBCU homecoming and didn’t have to take a day off work because I can do great work from anywhere. 

What are the benefits of remote work?

There are so many benefits to working remotely for both employers and for employees. 

For employers: 

  • Cost Savings – 5 years ago, I read that on average, employers save $11,000/year on remote employees. I’m sure that number has increased
  • Increased Productivity – on average, employers get 1.5 days MORE productivity from remote employees
  • Increased Retention – employees who have the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere are more likely to remain in their roles
  • Expanded Talent Pool – with remote work, employers now have access to talent outside of their immediate area, all over the country, and truly, all over the world. 

For employees:

  • Time savings – according to the Census Bureau in 2019, the average US Citizen’s commute is about 30 mins each way. That’s 5 hours/week we get back working from home, not to mention the time it takes to get ready for work!
  • Increased productivity – employees have reported huge increases in productivity not only because they avoid distractions from coworkers all day but also because they get to work in an environment they feel more comfortable in. 
  • Freedom and flexibility – this is a benefit that’s priceless! 

Can you describe what your current work and life balance look like?

I prefer the term Life-Work Balance. My life comes first, my work is built into my life. Don’t get me wrong, I work pretty hard. But my life is the most important thing to me given the fact that I only get one of them and, quite frankly, it’s fleeting. 

Overall, my life isn’t exactly balanced day-to-day. On any given day, I’m giving more of my attention to something and something else is getting less of it. But I think I’ve gotten really good and gauging where I need to rebalance over say, the course of a week or a month. If I notice I’m feeling tired or like I’m wearing down, I know I’ve not balanced rest into the equation and it’s time to tip the scale in that direction. If I notice I’m feeling a little lonely and disconnected, then I know I need to spend time with friends, get more social. The same applies to every facet of my life. I’m usually paying attention to where the scales appear to be off-balance and making efforts to correct them. It’s not a daily rebalancing because I don’t think that’s feasible. But on the whole, I think, I’m always looking at where I need to water the plants in the garden that is my life. 

What are three tips you can share for women looking to create a balance in their life?

Plan and Execute – Don’t underestimate the power of planning. It puts you in more control of your day, your schedule, your focus, and your attention. Plan your quarter, your month, your week, your day. But don’t forget to EXECUTE to the plan. Plans don’t work themselves. 

Set Boundaries – Be clear about what you will and won’t do on any given day. Also be clear about the time you allot for work, your business, your loved ones, and yourself. 

Give Yourself Permission – Be ok with needing to rest, needing help, not doing your best every single day, forgetting things, getting things wrong. Basically, give yourself permission to be a human. None of us is a stellar human every single day. 

I have always heard that all the good remote jobs are taken, how does someone find a job remotely?

Where’d you hear that? On any given day there are hundreds of thousands of open remote opportunities at amazing remote-first companies. I just did a search for remote project manager positions and it returned over 1 million results at companies like Pinterest, Instacard, Dell, and more. While there have ALWAYS been companies with remote workforces, there are so many more now given companies learned that they can actually have productive and happy employees without cubicles. Two great places to start are:

What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs?

Accept that failure is just data. Don’t fear it, don’t run from it, don’t avoid it. The only way to avoid failure is to never try things. I encourage you to try things out and do so with the belief in mind that you will either succeed at the thing or succeed at learning something new that can help you determine your next moves. 

Don’t waste a failure. Be sure to measure, review, and analyze the data. Let it tell you what went well, what didn’t go well, how you can pivot, where you should shift, where you should lean in and go harder. 

Bonus: What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?

A woman who values her knowledge, skills, and abilities who puts them to their highest and best use to improve her life and the life of those she serves. 

Connect with Libryia Jones here

Jakia Cheatham - Myles

CEO/Founder of Pretty Women Hustle Magazine

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