Achieving Work-Life Balance
Have you ever heard the phrase, "If you love your job, you'll never have to work again."?
Well, that myth is both false and incredibly misleading. In fact, research shows that the more passionate you are about a job, the more work you'll actually do.
The truth is, a successful career takes time, initiative, and hours of hard work. And, while some companies enable employees to successfully execute on their roles within 40 hours each week, they occasionally will need to work later or longer to excel.
This is where management comes in
Handing out work assignments according to position and skillset is the norm. When the amount of work becomes too much, it may seem that the only options you have are to hire more people, or overload the ones you have.
No manager wants to over-burden their employees. Everyone knows that doing this eventually results in shoddy work, no matter how talented they may be. Najwa Zebian, author, poet and educator says, "These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb". When we ask our employees to carry too much weight, something will finally break.
So, how do you support them so they can continue to excel in their career while making time for themselves and their loved ones?
The truth is, there's no simple trick to achieving an ideal work-life balance. But, luckily, there are a handful of strategies that can get you pretty close.
To help your employees juggle their work and personal life, even if they work remotely
, here are some tips.
While the tips below work well for in-office employees, these can be especially helpful if there are working remotely
and finding it hard to separate their work life from their personal life.
1. Set hard-stops for each workday.
If your employee's role revolves around large projects or long to-do lists, they might be tempted to work late or on weekends to get more done. However, it is important that you set ground-rules for your employees to prevent this.
"When working on a long-term project, it’s very easy to keep going into the night thinking, 'I can get the whole thing done today,' which was obviously bad for work-life balance," says Joe Mayall, an associate product marketing manager at HubSpot. "Setting hard stops for myself in the evening really helped me balance things out."
"Set (and abide by) your own boundaries and accept that a task is usually not THAT important that it can't wait until tomorrow," advises Lisa Toner
To prevent any tasks that you can't plausibly complete in normal work hours, Toner says, "You should manage expectations with your manager about how much can actually be done during business hours."
When you're working remotely, setting hard stops can be even more important. In a recent post
, Christina Perricone explained that knowing when to stop working is a common struggle of remote employees who usually work where they live.
"Since you miss out on the social cues to head out for lunch or end the workday that are inherent in in-office settings, you have to create them," says Perricone
. "Set calendar appointments for lunch or a walk or a midday workout. Otherwise, you might find yourself sitting in front of your computer for 10+ hours a day."
2. Make time for self-care and breaks each day.
Whether working in office or remote, make it clear to your employees that they must be aware of the need for a work / life balance. If their schedule allows, one way to do this is by blocking time for breaks or short self-care activities, such as taking a walk, on their calendar.
"Schedule personal things in your calendar like workouts, phone calls with family or friends, or coffee breaks. Then honor those commitments. This will force you to take a break in your workday and do the things that will recharge and fulfill you," says Jennifer Stefancik, marketing manager at Hubspot.
"When I get back to work after doing something personally fulfilling, like going on a run, I always feel more focused and energized." Stefancik shares.
3. Be transparent with your manager and colleagues about your personal-life boundaries.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to assure that your employees understand that you understand they need to set boundaries. Encourage them to create a schedule that takes their personal life into account. And most importantly, as a manager, you must respect these boundaries.
When they create this schedule, it should be posted on their work calendar so others known when they can interact with them, and when they can't.
4. Prioritize and audit your to-do list.
Along with establishing a transparent schedule that fits in both time for life and work, you can minimize your employees instances where they'll need to work overtime by ensuring they use prioritization tactics and auditing their to-do list to ensure that they're working efficiently.
In today's world, it's more important than ever to focus on the high impact activities and reduce or cease the activities that do not drive significant results. To help your employees prioritize their tasks so that the most important items fit smoothly into their work hours, train them to use a prioritization matrix such as the Eisenhower Matrix