The Following are the Topics Covered in this Article.

  • What is work-life balance?
  • Why do people choose TEFL as a career?
  • Some downsides of TEFL teaching
  • The side effects of long working hours
  • The importance of work-life balance for online TEFL teachers
  • Some tips for maintaining work-life


What Is Work-Life Balance?

Have you ever had your earphones tangled? Have you been irritated and confused for some time during the untangling process? I have. This confusion happens in work-life balance as well, though in a much bigger way. Work-life balance is nothing but an equilibrium between your professional and personal life.

In the 21st century, Is it possible for one parent to sit at home as a caregiver and live with one income? The answer is no.

So, in order to achieve good financial footing, both parents are forced to work to live a high-quality life.

Though dual-income families have more financial stability, maintaining work-life balance is a daunting task. 

When you talk about TEFL teachers, it becomes even more challenging. For example, if we talk about TEFL teachers abroad, prolonged working hours to cover their financial needs is a big challenge. On the other hand, when it comes to online teachers, their own home becomes a classroom where they will have to raise the kids and take classes.

Let’s take a look at the importance of the work-life balance in TEFL teachers’ lives and also some good tips to enjoy a smooth professional and personal life.

Why Do People Choose TEFL As A Career?

TEFL as a career

There is a massive number of students backpacking from non-English speaking countries to other countries looking for better opportunities. Moreover, English is becoming a global language due to the growing business opportunities between countries.

English has also become the internet language as these days a lot of communications happen digitally. 

So the demand for TEFL teachers in non-English speaking countries has skyrocketed.

Some people get into the TEFL (Teaching English As A Foreign Language) career because of their pure passion for teaching.  They may also want to get recognized as a teacher.

On the other hand, some others look at it as a short term career opportunity wherein they can travel around the world and get to know various cultures.

Another reason why people enter into the English teaching field is also because of its flexibility. For example, because of the high demand for online English teachers, you get to teach from the comfort of your home without going to any foreign country.

Moreover, teachers get a lot of holidays which matches with that of students. The summer holidays and seasonal breaks that are offered to the faculty members every year are also a fascination for aspiring TEFL teachers.

If you would like to know more about the best TEFL certification course, please see the link below.


Some Downsides Of TEFL Teaching

Having said the above, many TEFL teachers point out some downsides as well when they are abroad.

  • Initially, when you land in a foreign country everything may seem to be very exciting, but as time goes by culture shock hits hard for some people. The language barrier also becomes a problem while communicating. At the same time, some people feel homesick after some time realizing whatever norms they have been following in their country are not universally accepted.
  • Also, TEFL teachers who live overseas will have to tackle different kinds of people in their workplace. Some may be local people, some may be double your age. So patience and having an open mind are very important.
  • Bills! This is one of the major challenges English teachers face abroad.  Sadly, it’s the one thing we cannot avoid. A lot of them may have student loans to repay or some may want to set aside some money into saving. As a result, many people are forced to live on a shoestring budget.
  • In a lot of cases, people find it difficult to make new friends mainly due to the language divide. Even if you find people with your interests, they are busy with their own career and they have no time for you. Your foreign peers may also struggle with the same problems. Thus, socializing becomes an issue.

If you are in a foreign land you won’t be able to replicate life from your own country. So you need to be very flexible to accept the reality and adjust while abroad.

The Side Effects Of Long Working Hours

In this modern world, many people find work-life balance is an impossible feat to achieve. The reason for spending long hours at work is partly because of the fear of job loss and partly due to the high level of financial commitment. Such people tend to work for 50-60 hours per week while an average person’s working hours are just 40-45 hours per week. Unfortunately, many people don’t even realize how adversely it can affect your mental and physical strength.

However, companies also need to be partly blamed for it. Employers always want their organizations to do more work at a lesser cost. The lack of manpower and overload of work always leads to a crisis situation. And thus, employees are forced to work for longer hours. 

According to a Harvard Business Review

Managers want employees to put in long days, respond to their emails at all hours, and willingly donate their off-hours — nights, weekends, vacation — without complaining. Most of the research suggests that people can put in a week or two of 60 hours to resolve a true crisis.”

If you don’t maintain a work-life balance, it can drain you both mentally and physically and can cause long term impact on your health such as

  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • You will be a high-risk patient for cardiac diseases.
  • Bad untimely eating habits can cause malnutrition.
  • If you are working on the computer, prolonged screen time can damage your eyes.

The Importance Of Work-Life Balance For Expat TEFL Teachers

work-life balance

Aren’t you spending enough time with your loved ones? Are you unable to find time for your hobbies? That means you are in the same boat as those who are struggling with work-life balance.

Everything starts at home. Managing your home and taking care of your children are some of the many tasks you have to take care of as a working parent. Your family should always be your first priority. But it doesn’t mean that it should be your only priority. As a working parent, you may also be worried about your job safety.

This is where the concept of work-life balance comes.

As a TEFL teacher, mostly you will be teaching young students and you need to stay motivated in the classroom. So giving importance to professional life is also very important in order for you to remain pleasant throughout the day. This will also help you to stay positive and more productive.

The more positive the classroom means the less stressed the school environment will be.

TEFL teachers have the separation of home and work compared to online teachers, though commuting might be an issue.

But if the job is so stressful that it forces you to choose between family and work, it would be advisable you choose the family. The reason is, it would be easier to find a second job than a second family!

The Importance Of Work-Life Balance For Online TEFL Teachers

work-life balance online teachers

Teaching English online is an industry that has been there for years. But now due to the coronavirus pandemic, almost all are forced to do distance learning and now it has become a booming business. 

When your home becomes a classroom, managing the household chores, raising kids, and teaching students can become a challenging task. So, you will have to put tremendous effort in order to achieve an effective work-life balance.

As face-to-face communication is nearly impossible being a remote employee, you need to put in extra effort to strengthen relationships between you and the students. 

Long working hours and over-exerting can have major impacts on your health mentally and physically.  Mental health issues, anxiety, depression, and insomnia are said to be some of the main issues amongst many TEFL teachers.

Effective work-life balance also can build strong relationships both in personal and professional life.

For more details about online English teaching and recent trends please also refer to the link below.

Teach English Online – Recent Trends in 2020

Some Tips For Maintaining Work-Life Balance

Whether you are working abroad or online, teaching has changed dramatically because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Distance learning or e-learning means teachers will be working from the comfort of their homes.

So, how do you maintain the work-life balance with this sudden change? Let’s take a look at some tips.

1. Don’t Be A Perfectionist

work-life perfectionist

Are you a person who is always focused on details? Or are you a person who always thinks that you will always be perfect and never make any mistakes in your life? Then you are a perfectionist.

When you think whatever you do is not perfect, it becomes a self-defeating ambition. Perfectionism is in fact a gap between imagination and reality. This toxic habit does nothing but paralyzes your feelings.

Perfectionists decide not to make any mistakes in life because they can’t handle even constructive criticism. Hence, perfectionism also a replication of immaturity 

But, can you be a perfect parent, a perfect teacher, and a perfect homemaker? The answer is no. You will simply be torturing yourself in the process of making everything extraordinary and perfect.

According to Medical News Today, it can lead to severe mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideations.

So, in order to avoid being mentally drained from work or home, it’s very important that you avoid this overly critical self-evaluation mindset.

2. Make Your Own Workspace At Home

workspace at home

How does this picture look to you?

Very comfortable, spacious, not so crowded, well organized and it has an abundance of natural light. 

Why is the workspace so important for TEFL teachers? Overnight transition to virtual classrooms demands teachers to have a better-planned workspace at home to maintain order at both teachers and student levels.

Making a beautiful well-designed workplace at home will enhance your performance and increase productivity. Replicating a classroom-based workspace at home has more advantages. It gives you a sense of satisfaction and it makes your communication with the students better.

3. Indulge In Any Hobbies

hobbies for TEFL teachers


Hobby persons. People of creative professions at work. Artistic occupations, retro hobbies cartoon characters vector illustration set

Sticking to a dull, routine work on an everyday basis can be very monotonous. Focusing on a hobby can bring you happiness because hobbies are always stressbusters. Indulging in a hobby also brings personal satisfaction as it’s a way to end the monotony. 

Different people have different likes and hobbies as none of them are similar. Hobbies can be reading, singing, cooking, and so on. Some may also like physical hobbies such as skiing or snowboarding. There are some interesting unique hobbies like Tai Chi and stand-up comedies which people find satisfaction in. 

Besides, focusing on a hobby of your interest and forgetting the work commitments gives a sense of purpose in life. 

If you are interested you can also develop some new lucrative skills such as learning a new language or podcasting or starting a YouTube channel. Learning a new skill is always helpful for the future especially in this uncertain pandemic period.

4. Realise The Importance Of Exercise And Meditation

The benefits of exercise and meditation are innumerable. 

Moving your body means less mortality rate.

Because of the long hours of work both at home and at work most people tend to keep exercise as their last priority.  But a sedentary lifestyle can attract a lot of health hazards. There are many proven benefits of exercise both physically and mentally. 

Experts say that doing regular exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. It also helps in improved blood sugar control and even fights out cancer.

Moreover, doing regular exercise can have a positive impact on your mental health as exercise is considered to be an energy booster. It can reduce your mental stress and thus reduce anxiety and depression.

Meditation also can bring a huge positive impact on your life. It helps you to stay calm in any adverse circumstances and stay positive. It also helps to boost up your mood.

But the common problem for many people is that they say they don’t have time to do meditation. But you really don’t need hours to meditate. A regular 10-15 minutes a day of meditation, preferably early mornings, can bring wonders to your life.

Check Out The Global Ranking For Best TEFL Certification

5. Avoid Toxic And Loquacious People

Toxic and loquacious people

Do you work around the clock and struggle between schoolwork and home?  Then it’s very important that you utilize your time effectively and avoid toxic people and unnecessary conversations.  

The term toxic always carries a negative connotation. Toxic people will not only inject negativity but also will tear you down. So stop wasting time with them. They don’t value relationships and they always drain your energy level. 

So how do you keep toxic people away in order to avoid tension and stress in the air?

There is only one way.

You simply can say you are not interested in a relationship with them as you really don’t owe them any explanation. 

You will eventually move on and slowly and steadily your energy level will get back to normal.

Having said that, a very important tip to utilize your time better is to avoid chit-chatting after school hours. You may come across some loquacious people who love to talk. It’s a complete waste of time talking to such people because loquacious people only like to talk about subjects that interest them.

So spending time with such people can drain your energy and drag your life.

6. Learn To Say No

TEFL teachers saying no

Saying no is an art. 

Many of us say yes to many things fearing that by saying no we will lose a friend or our job. And some people are constantly worried about what other people think about them. So to keep up with their expectations they tend to say yes to many things which actually they don’t want to do.

Though saying no makes us uncomfortable initially, it can save a lot of your time. It helps you to prioritize your actual work and maintain a good work-life balance.

Being a teacher your job is to help other people but there are certain times when you have to use the word no. For example, if you are asked to do additional work after school hours you may have to say no straight away. Instead of blindly accepting it, you can say

“Because I have some other commitments I will not be able to do it.” 

“I just have to look at my calendar, let me get back to you about that.” This is also an indirect form of saying no.

7. Avoid Mixing Personal And Professional Activities

Busy teacher and mom

It’s easier to say than done.  But if you set clear goals and be disciplined it’s not hard.

Are you a person who picks up the phone first thing in the morning? You need a phone. But keep the first one hour of your day for yourself instead of going digital immediately after you wake up. Then what happens is, even though you are physically in bed, your mind goes to work.

You tend to behave in a totally different way as a teacher and a homemaker. It requires a lot of organizational skills to be a completely different person at both places and enhance your productivity.

In fact, if you mix your personal and work-life, your work will be dragged and extended weekends. This will lead to emotional instability and depression. People who don’t mix their personal and professional lives tend to be happier and successful.

In order to spend quality time with your loved ones and increase your productivity at work, you need to set your priorities right. You should also have a clear understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. 

Brief Summary


When you spend time with your loved ones, your home becomes a paradise. But at the same time in today’s world, it’s also very important to be efficient in your professional life. Maintaining a work-life balance is very important for TEFL teachers because teachers are always a motivation for students.

People choose TEFL as a profession due to different reasons. While some come into this field due to peer passion, others choose this for money or to explore foreign countries. Though there are some downsides to the TEFL teaching career, there is a skyrocketing demand for English teachers due to the international trades.

If work-life balance is not properly maintained, teachers may have to face some serious mental and physical health-related problems. Some of them are anxiety, depression, and sleep deprivation. You can even be a high-risk patient for heart diseases. 

There are certain points that should be remembered to efficiently balance your professional and personal life. 

Firstly, you need to let go of your perfectionism. In this pandemic period when you work from home, making your own organized workspace at home is very important. It is also very important to find some time for hobbies to reduce stress and anxiety. Regular exercise and meditation also will help to reduce work-related anxieties and stress for a smooth life.

It’s also highly crucial that you avoid toxic and unnecessary conversations with loquacious people. It’s a waste of time. You also need to learn the art of saying no in order to find time for your own job and thus stay productive. TEFL teachers also understand that mixing of professional and personal life will only create tension in the air by extending their work to the weekends.

What is Work-Life Balance?

Work-life balance is the equilibrium between your professional and personal life. In the 21st century, it’s very important for both parents to work in order to achieve good financial footing and high-quality life. So, maintaining a balance between your work and your personal life is very important. Personal life roles can include taking care of your child, doing household chores, paying bills, or indulging in hobbies.

Why should I choose TEFL as a career?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. There are many advantages to choosing TEFL as a career. Firstly, if you are passionate about teaching English it’s a good opportunity. Secondly, you get to live in another foreign land, travel around the world, and get to know different cultures. On the other hand, if you choose online teaching you get the flexibility of working from the comfort of your home.

Are there any Downsides to TEFL as a Profession?

It’s being said that there are certain downsides to the TEFL teaching career. For some people, culture shock hits hard while they are abroad. Communication also is a challenging factor due to the language barrier. Some TEFL teachers also tend to feel homesick and social isolated if they are staying in remote areas. Moreover, people with student loans will have to live on a shoestring budget in order to cover their financial needs.

How do I Maintain a good Work-Life Balance?

Here are some tips to maintain a good work-life balance.

1. Don’t be a perfectionist.
2. Make your own workspace at home if you are teaching online.
3. Indulge in any hobbies of your interest.
4. Realize the importance of exercise and meditation.
5. Avoid toxic and loquacious people.
6. Learn to say no.
7. Avoid mixing personal and professional activities.

Why is Work-Life Balance so Important?

Maintaining a good work-life balance is important in order to remain mentally and physically healthy. A good equilibrium between work and personal life can reduce the level of stress and anxiety. It also reduces the risk of developing cardiac-related diseases and high blood pressure. A good healthy and organized lifestyle even controls your blood sugar levels and fights out cancer.

Also Check this Video

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