Finding a balance between your career and your personal life is a challenge that is often faced across industries and professions. But what does it really look like to balance both successfully? With the pandemic, work environments have changed and there has been an increase in remote work. Employees have enjoyed the added flexibility but there is a new challenge of knowing when to disconnect. We’ve laid out a few ways you can encourage your employees to balance their work and play. In return, your employees will have increased productivity, improved overall happiness, and fewer health issues.
Encourage Meaningful Breaks
It can be draining to work a full day without time to decompress. That’s where breaks come in. A break can range from a 15 minute microbreak at your desk to an hour-long walk with your dog during lunch. It can be tempting to work through the lunch break when you’re behind or simply want to get ahead, but it’s crucial to take the time for yourself. It’s important to break up your work day and encourage your employees to do the same, especially when they work remotely.
Set Boundaries and Communicate Them Company-Wide
It can be challenging to truly unplug from work. That being said, it’s not only important but it’s necessary. Encourage employees to utilize their calendar to block off when they will be unavailable and stick to those commitments. If your company uses Slack, Microsoft Teams, or any other communication tool, have your teams mute their notifications past working hours and update their status if they are away. If your employees have access to email on their cell phone, it’s also a good idea to mute notifications when not working.
Offer A Flexible Working Environment
When an employee feels valued and trusted at their company, it’s proven that they will perform better and stay longer. Employees who have the freedom to manage their time will feel less burnt out and use their time more efficiently. For example, employees who feel unable to complete outside of work responsibilities such as a doctor’s appointment during the workday will feel an added stress trying to fit everything into their day. If your employees are unable to step away during the day, allow for flexible scheduling and hours. Set the expectations early on and allow your team to perform where and when it works best for them.
Lead By Example
Leaders play a big role in the workplace. As important as it is for your employees to have a work-life balance, it’s just as important for managers and leadership to as well. With heavy workloads and busy schedules, there are times when it is necessary to work extra hours. But, that doesn’t mean breaks and boundaries shouldn’t exist. Set an example for your employees by utilizing your time off, setting working hours, and communicating flexibility. Not only that, but ensure your team’s are aware that they are not expected to respond to any messages or emails sent after their working hours. You’ll see that with time, employees feel more trusted and engaged when you lead by example.
It is challenging to balance your employees’ workload and their everyday life effectively. As an HR leader, there are plenty of ways to encourage a balance and set expectations at a company-wide level. By promoting work-life balance, your employees will be less stressed, more engaged, and a lot more content.
Interested in taking your efforts further? Download our E-Book “Building Culture in the New Normal” to see how to start building or rebuilding culture in our changing world and workplace.