Helping Your Employees Maintain an Optimal Work-Life Balance When Working From Home
There’s more to maintaining a work-life balance than having good time management. This is especially true at home, where the lines between work and personal life tend to feel nonexistent.
If your staff is working from home — which is likely thanks to the ‘new normal’ created by the coronavirus pandemic — here are a few tips and tricks to help you help them maintain an optimal work-life balance while in a work from home (WFH) situation.
Be a Thoughtful Leader
A boss who’s purely focused on productive output at the expense of their employees is, in a word, a failure. It’s not that productivity isn’t important. On the contrary, it is. However, if you don’t have a compassionate, thoughtful attitude towards the condition of your employees (both individually and as a whole), eventually struggles with isolation and burnout will eat away at your team’s efficiency.
That’s why it’s critical managers proactively encourage and model a policy of self-care, especially when working with a remote team. In addition, they must avoid things like micromanagement, failing to set goals, and ignoring differences within their workforce. All of this adds up to useless leadership. Moreover, your staff will likely feel overworked, chained to their desks, and generally unable to take control of their WFH situations.
Instead, look for ways to actively listen to your employees. Empower them to take steps to maintain a work-life balance. Each in their own unique way that fits both their personal needs and the needs of your team, project, and company.
Set Up a Designated Home Office
Though work-life balance is often overly focused on not working too much, what it really should highlight is how to fully focus on whatever is in front of you. When you wake up in the morning, you shouldn’t be working. However, when you start your workday, you should focus on work and work alone. When you finish your workday, you must be able to turn off your computer, nix those notifications, and return your focus to your personal life.
One of the ways that managers can encourage genuine work-life balance for their team is by ensuring that their employees delineate between work and personal space as much as possible, even within their own homes. If an employee has an office, they should do their best to make it a positive, productive place for their work. Good lighting, greenery, and healthy work vibes help a worker stay focused on the task at hand, and give them a clear place to leave behind at the end of the day.
Maintain a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is often connected with larger business strategies. It also has a very real-world application in the area of work-life balance. It requires an attitude of continual learning and professional development. Both of which encourage you to consistently check-in on your ability to maintain a balance between work and personal life.
For instance, adjusting to the fact that individuals are working from home in such vast numbers. This in and of itself requires an adaptive, growth-oriented mindset. Not long ago it was predicted that remote workers would make up the majority of the workforce — in 2027. However, the coronavirus suddenly created a remote workforce majority overnight and over half a decade ahead of schedule.
This shift naturally required a flexible reaction that took the new circumstances into account and looked for new ways to establish balance while newly working from home. Needless to say, the changes aren’t going to stop there, either. Which is why encouraging a growth mindset in your team is essential to maintaining balance in work and life. No matter what the future may bring.
Helping Your Staff Find Balance
Work-life balance is one of the tenets of a healthy remote work scenario. As such, it must be actively embraced and promoted not just by employees but by managers as well. As a leader, it’s important that you make a conscious effort to oversee your team’s ability to focus. To delineate when it’s time to work and then let go and unplug when the workday ends. This can be done by modelling an adaptive growth mindset and checking in on your employee’s WFH situations from time to time.
Most importantly, you must be a thoughtful leader who takes your employee’s welfare seriously. By doing so, you demonstrate a team-building, positive company culture. One that encourages productivity, efficiency, focus, boundaries, and ultimately, a healthy work-life balance.
For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to People Management Skills and our People Management Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more People Management Skills Tips and HR Management Tips.