A long-distance relationship can affect unexpected areas of your life. At your job, for example, it can have implications for your schedule, your vacation time, and even your average workday. Here are a few tips for keeping that work/life balance in check:
In my long-distance relationship, we had a two-hour time difference, which meant I was often up until the early hours of the morning talking on the phone or webcam. If you’re in a similar situation, consider speaking with your supervisor to see if you can adjust your schedule—maybe you can be in the office from 10 to 6 instead of 9 to 5, for example. If not, you and your long-distance partner might have to change your routine so you’re not always exhausted at work.
Visiting your long-distance partner eats up a lot of vacation days—and fast. If you have the typical two weeks of vacation, even taking a four-day weekend (which to me always felt like way too short of a visit) would use 20% of your alloted time in one shot. One way to make your vacation days last a little longer is to build on your work holidays—adding on to what’s already a three-day weekend for Memorial Day, for example. You may also have to work when your partner visits; that way, you don’t both use up all your vacation days at the same time.
If you work in retail, be good to your coworkers—pick up extra shifts when you’re between visits, to make it more likely that they’ll do the same for you when you need time off.
Long-distance relationships rely heavily on e-mail, phone calls, and texting for communication, and it’s easy to let this spill over into your workday. But first, make sure you know your company’s policies about personal-computer use. Texting could be the best option for communicating during the day, but it’s easy to get carried away, so silence your phone if you need to focus, and check it during breaks.
As much as your job might add to your frustrations in a long-distance relationship (when you never seem to have enough vacation time, or it affects how you communicate with your partner), take care to make sure your relationship doesn’t affect your work performance. Being fully engaged in your work is not only important for your sense of self, but it can also help carry you through those long stretches when you can’t visit your sweetheart. And it’s hard to buy a plane ticket without a paycheck, after all.