How to Maintain an Ideal Work-Life Balance in Team by Jay Get Our Tips Straight to your inbox T T T T October 15, 2020 “Work life balance is not an entitlement or benefit. Your company cannot give it to you. You have to create it for yourself.”– Matthew Kelly, Author Live your life more to work better and faster, or work more to live a better life? It’s often a challenging question that many of you might be asking yourselves. For some of you, work gets over with the end of a working day, but for still a few, work can sneak into their personal life, spoiling their evenings and also the weekends. Some tolerate, some despise it. An employee-centric company which keeps the interest of its workforce first over other things – will value its workers and their work-life balance needs as well as wishes from their personal life and expectations from professional life. As an employer, you won’t be responsible to provide employees with a cent percent work-life balance alone – employees need to practice a few things to change their approach towards family life and work. However, your company can do so many things to help employees find the secret to maintaining a work-life balance for the long-term. So, check out the recommended practices you and other employers can agree to make sure employees get the required support to make the balance better and faster. Work-Life Balance – What Is It? The act to maintain the right balance between home and work life has been a challenging thing for today’s workers. The work schedules are not just extending beyond work hours but also spoiling the home life of youngsters, putting them on a fix. Work-life balancing requires dealing with workplace pressure, daily demands of family, relatives, friends, and above all self. Today’s employees should learn to balance their work-life properly or it can trigger frustration along with professional failure in them. Work-Life Balance – Why it should be a Top Priority? A work-life balance is essential to make personal life happy while living a productive work life. The following things will prove its ultimate importance: Better control and right on one’s personal life makes way for employees to strike a good rapport with company management. Employees with the right work-life balance are less likely to mix up home and work issues. They will less mess with colleagues/management and feel more motivated at the workplace. Employees maintaining a work-life balance add to the company’s productivity and keep positive without reacting to additional stress or burden. Employers who promote the practice of work-life balance among employees are seen as respectful and potential choices. Employers implementing work-life balance measures often end up with good employee retention and low retention rates. Proven Tips for employers to promote work-life balance If you happen to be an employer, make sure to bring the following changes or focus on a few offerings so that a better work-life balance can be maintained in your staff. Different Roles but the Same Set of Rules for work-life balance No matter if you are the owner or working as a project manager, you are responsible to make the company work with its employees without any conflict or issue. As a professional, you will have to think of ways to promote teamwork, implementing the industry best practices, and ensuring optimal productivity in every work condition. All this is possible when you follow a set of guidelines to achieve a work-life balance in your company. 1. Practice Work Consistency & Cooperation Take on the concept of practicing consistency and cooperation in your organization structure. With this, employees will be aware of their day-to-day duties and feel less pressured. Transparent task management with clear timelines and due dates allows employees to plan & deliver their work well. You can certainly rework on things occasionally, but a stable and reliable project plan can reduce anxiety and provide a clear execution roadmap to the employees leading to consistency in their deliverables. 2. Improve Clarity, Build a Secure Environment Share the designation and work profile of all the important people working in your company with the new employees. Give them the scope to know the exact truth of your company management, its hierarchical structure, job roles, and responsibilities too. One easy and simple tip to bring clarity about your company management is using org chart solution (pictorial). Many organizations practice – skip-level meetings where employees can meet their boss’ boss! This enables greater transparency and promotes the feeling that their voices are being heard. 3. Create a Calming and Refreshing Space Employees may have a bad day at work infrequently, so it’s good to have a calm and quiet space for them in an office full of plants, flowers, a comfortable chair, and light reading materials where they can step in and feel refreshed after a few minutes. However, this space should be away from formal chatting, laughing, snacking or meetings to maintain the office decorum. 4. Ensure Flexibility in Work Schedule Not forcing your employees to choose their family or work is the best way to keep them happy and help them maintain a better work-life balance. When you give your employees the flexibility of remote work or off-hours work, it enables them to make up the lost hours and meet the deadline. This work flexibility may include telecommunication so that employees neither do have to apply for unpaid leave nor their work will have to suffer. Another thing flexibility brings along is the motivation, positivity, and confidence among the employees to manage the workload without losing personal moments or failing on the family front. Provide your employees with the right remote project management tool for boundary-less collaboration. 5. Encourage Team Work in the Workplace The teamwork concept is an effective way to make employees feel secure, de-stressed, and friendly in the office. This emotion of belonging to one team and having support from each other when required will help them feel grateful to the company and handle days of high workload smoothly. The teamwork will make way for a pleasant work atmosphere and keep the spirit of employees up in the workplace while reducing unwanted conflicts. Transparency and visibility of task assignments, resource allocation and resource utilization reports have proven helpful in enabling optimum teamwork. 6. Offer Annual Vacations and Events to Participate The employees working in small companies or startups are more prone to competition and under so much pressure of performing that they forget to give time to themselves and rejuvenate from time to time. Maintaining an annual vacation policy for employees and encouraging them to use it or lose it after the year-end will make a significant difference in their work-life balance. The conventional 2 weeks of vacation time may not be enough for your employees to attain a healthy balance in the work-life. So, think of amending your organization’s vacation policy to allow a few more days of vacation leave to your employees so that they could work towards the goal of a better balance in work and family life. 7. Let Them Take Short Breaks All Day On a serious note, the employees must take short breaks all through the day for getting a feel or refreshment and to stay physically and mentally productive. Sitting motionless and looking at a computer screen continuously for hours in a day can leave bad effects on their body and mind. So, let your employees take short breaks to relax whenever required. Benefits of Offerings for Employees – Better Work-life Balance Below are some of the additional facilities an employer or manager can think of offering the employees to assist them to attain a better work-life balance to some extent. 1. Onsite or Offsite Gymming A regular fitness regime can bring down stress, and every healthy person in your workforce should spend at least half an hour on it every day. Employees who maintain a healthy lifestyle and workout regularly are at minimal risk of falling sick and missing attendance in the workplace; which could invariably boost your company’s workflow. Many companies have their onsite gym facility these days to encourage their employees to visit it regularly and upkeep fitness for free. If not possible, then consider providing your employees with a membership concession at any local gym. Moreover, encourage the employees to be a part of the company’s fitness group, or make sure that you promote and convince them to participate in local charity races and similar kinds of health events. To include, a healthy eating style among the employees, be sure that your office has a hygienic canteen and food supplies rather than the normal coffee/tea makers in use. 2. Childcare Facilities and Discounts Family-oriented work culture is found to have benefited both the employer and the employees in more than one way. To avoid difficult situations when parents have to leave their sick/young child at home and come to work, you can offer on-site childcare or babysitting services. Or else, you could sponsor a discounted as well as trusted daycare services, so that the employees with babies can be sure about the safety of their children even while they are working in the office. This will prevent the working parents from feeling guilty that they have to compromise childcare duties during work as well as unwanted absenteeism too. Or, if you are unable to comply with all the above options, then allow the working parents to stay at home, keep working, and telecommute whenever they have to tender a sick child, pick/drop him/her at school, take in-laws for doctor visits or have other family duties to discharge. Health Insurance Benefits for All, Even Contractual and Part-time Make sure that you ask and respect the demands of employees through the company offered health plan. When you treat both young and senior employees equally and emphasize their well-being, it will add to your work-ability. Your senior, part-time or contractual employees mustn’t feel left out. You have to make a feel of connection without bringing the topic of the generation gap up. Otherwise, the senior employees may opt to retire, causing you to lose invaluable resources. Moreover, come up with good retention plans for keeping senior employees on a contractual or part-time basis, riding on the advantage of their expert skills and great insight that could be missing in newcomers. With adaptation to all these health benefits, it will be quite easy for your employees to manage stress and balance work-life. What Can Employees Do Individually for a Better Work-Life Balance? 1. Be Realistic and Don’t Chase Perfection in Work-Life Balance Most of your employees feel like a better work-life balance means giving maximum output on a workday to come home on time and spending quality time with family and friends. This is however their imagination, not reality. They should seek a realistic timetable instead of fantasizing about a perfect routine. Perfection is an illusion in work-life balance. The key lies in thorough task and resource management. Having absolute visibility of who is doing what and when with associated dependencies will ensure teams do their part in a timely manner. This will allow employees should rather learn how to balance when they will work more and when their family needs more time and attention. In between, they should not ignore giving themselves some time as well. 2. Don’t Overwork, nurture your Health & Heal Properly Your employees should not ignore their health and well being. Their physical, mental, and emotional health should be your top priority. If your employees have some mental issues, they should go for professional help, therapy and include such sessions in their schedules. If your employees are physically sick, they will need to apply for leave and get them treated until full recovery. Over exhausting themselves in work would do more harm than good to your employees when they are not well physically or mentally. It will hamper their productivity and make them take more leaves than required. As a project manager you must ensure optimum resource utilization and track resource availability as well as allocation to prevent resource overloads. Burnout of your top-performing resources will hamper your projects in the long run. 3. Go on a Vacation & Try to Unwind Going on a vacation helps your employees shed stress and feel refreshed. It can be a short local vacation or an exotic trip of a week or even more. According to a study conducted by the US Travel Association, 52% of employees have unused vacation days leftover at the end of the year. Your employees may be in the habit of keeping their vacation days unused in the fear of disturbing the workflow and coming back to piles of work, however, they should change this habit and adapt to the idea of taking an annual break at least. Taking some time off work and holidaying with friends or family will allow your employees to maintain work-life balance better. 4. Fix Work Boundaries and Avoid Clashes with Personal Time Your employees need to be very specific about their work hours and notify the team lead as well as colleagues the same. They should avoid taking work home by accomplishing as much as possible within the fixed time limit. It will save them from getting tired to such an extent that they lose tempo or pace of work. Whether your employees are on remote work or come to the office, they have to keep their work-life separate from family life otherwise a clash may occur, bringing their work-life balance to an all-time low. A good tip to succeed in this is by not working and responding to office calls beyond the fixed hours. And those working from home, can certainly decide their working hours in a day and thus could stop work getting mixed with their family time unknowingly. Remote project management software with mobile apps and in-app chat have proven to be effective in helping teams to stay on top of their tasks and work progress even when away from office. 5. Unplugging As Much As Possible Employees should bother to take time and de-stress by unplugging as much as possible. When they are enjoying personal time or looking for any personal event, healing session, or something similar, they should stop checking official mails and indulge in work-related matters. Unplugging enables employees to reboot and avoid a sense of exhaustion. Devoting some time for personal grooming, refreshment and relaxation will make them bounce back to work with more energy and enthusiasm. Conclusion So, the topic has come to an end. Simple tips you can follow both as an employer or an employee to maintain a better work-life balance. For the sake of sanity, you need to strike a balance between your work and home life as it will make you a happier and more productive human. Hopefully, all the above tips discussed to maintain a work-life balance will assist you to reach there! Need to use automation and work management features for better work-life balance? Check out our project management software – Orangescrum today! Related articles you may Like: Evolving the Orangescrum Look-n-Feel Experience! Best Tips to Work From Home in Covid-19 Sign Up Orangescrum Using Your Google Account Get Over Spreadsheets To Manage Your Projects!