Have you ever sat at your desk for the whole day because there’s so much to do? Maybe you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Maybe you want to succeed and thrive in the business world.
But are you neglecting your work-life balance? And are you giving enough care to your employees?
How can you balance your own life, as well as giving the right support for your employees so that everyone’s well-being is no longer neglected?
Let’s find out.
What is work-life balance? Why is it important?
Work-life balance is the state of equal prioritization between work and personal life. It’s not about having the same hours of work compared to personal life. It’s more about making time for both so that you don’t feel like work is sucking all of your energy and time.
You may notice you’re having a poor work-life balance when you:
- Work longer hours
- Can’t find peace of mind because there are many responsibilities
- Feel overwhelmed
Maybe you’re having children. Maybe you’re trying hard on your startup to make it work. But you shouldn’t forget about the importance of a balance between your career and personal life.
A good work-life balance is important because:
- You experience less stress and burnout, hence increasing your well-being.
- Employees are more engaged and productive, meaning less absenteeism and turnover.
How to improve your work-life balance
Change your mindset about work-life balance
The idea of being so productive at work and then coming home and having a happy time with family or friends is ideal, but not always feasible. To improve work-life balance, you need to adopt the right mindset.
As we’ve said before, work-life balance isn’t about dividing equal time for work and life. You can’t always have a perfect schedule and always be on top of your performance.
You should allow some room for flexibility instead of feeling bad about not having a perfect work-life balance. As long as you constantly review how you’re spending time for both aspects and readjust your priorities, you’ll achieve an acceptable balance.
Prioritize your health and well-being
If you’re not healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally, it’s hard to be a productive and happy person. Your work performance and how you treat people will be affected, too.
Set aside time for physical and mental exercises. Work out, run, jog, move around. Practice slow breathing and meditation for 5 minutes. Notice when your health and well-being get worse and find solutions to improve them.
If you’re struggling with mental issues, seek therapy or take some time off. Being a manager may make you feel you’re responsible and you’re not allowed to take time off, but the consequences may get bigger if you don’t prioritize your health properly.
When you find yourself drowned in paperwork, emails, and work matters, it’s OK to disconnect with the outside world for a few days. You can spend the whole day traveling, fishing, reading, or simply sleeping.
This may sound like a waste of time if you’re extremely busy. But idle times like these can actually clear your mind and give you some unexpected and interesting ideas.
Take a vacation
It’s scary to think about taking a whole vacation when you’re running a business. Your company operation can be disrupted. And work accumulates, queuing in line waiting for you.
All those fears are valid, but you can’t deny that you need to recharge, both mentally and physically. Taking a vacation is possible if you plan it out and prepare for it properly.
In case you’re still worried, remember that even a one-day vacation counts.
Make time for your loved ones
Most people on their deathbed regret not spending more time with their loved ones. Your work may be your priority and you’re extremely passionate about it, but you shouldn’t neglect your loved ones.
They’re your secure bases and supportive companions in times of difficulties. Maybe they’re not nagging for your attention as those work tasks, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to spend quality time with them.
Not having any boundaries of when to start working and when to stop working may result in you answering work-related emails and messages all day. This may disrupt your quality time with yourself and your loved ones. Your mind constantly thinks about work and you can never truly relax.
Being a manager may not give you the privilege of ignoring calls and emails when you leave your office. But you still need to avoid them at all costs. You can tell your staff and colleagues to only call you in urgent situations, and that non-urgent messages will be resolved only during work hours.
You should also respect your employeees’ boundaries by not asking them to work or sending them emails during after-work hours.
Structure your day
Having a clear structure for your day makes you spend time more thoughtfully. Do important tasks when you’re most alert and productive. Tackle low-value tasks when you’re lethargic.
You can try out the Time Blocking method to dedicate blocks of time to your priorities. Implementing the right time management strategies can really boost your productivity and performance at work.
How to support your employees’ work-life balance
Talk to employees about work-life balance
Different people have different definitions of work-life balance. But you should still talk to employees about the core essence of striving for a balance between one’s career and life.
Find out their own thoughts about work-life balance. Some may prefer more time for family and friends, while others want the freedom of deciding when to arrive at work and when to leave work.
Make it clear to your staff what you can do to support them in maintaining their own work-life balance. Discuss paid leaves, parental leaves, flexible scheduling methods, for example.
Update on work-life balance trends
It’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends regarding how to improve work-life balance. This way you can offer benefits and programs that can attract your existing employees and potential candidates.
Be a good example
Many staff follow what you’re doing because they simply think that they’re expected to do the same.
If you work nonstop and leave work late, staff can feel unease leaving work on time.
If you keep sending messages during non-work hours, staff will think they’re expected to answer and that invades their personal time.
Allow flexibility in the workplace
Workplace flexibility is among the most attractive benefits that employees seek in a company. They want to feel more in control of their working time and location.
This kind of flexibility allows staff to adjust their lifestyles in a way that benefits their well-being and lives. They can spend time on themselves, with loved ones, or resolve family matters when their schedules aren’t rigid.
Many businesses have adopted flexible scheduling, in which their staff can select their preferred shifts and work locations. This allows staff to have some ownership over their work, while saving employers some time on shift planning.
As we have different priorities and commitments, work-life balance may not mean the same to everyone.
Learn how to improve your work-life balance and craft the lifestyle that suits you best.
Then encourage and support your dedicated staff to do the same, too.