16 Proven Steps to Achieving Work-Life Balance: Tips and Strategies
June 20, 2022
May 24, 2023
Lately, employee centricity has become part of the core of companies’ strategies to create a happy and successful working environment. Workers who manage to find the right balance between their working time and their private activities experience less stress, more productivity and more engagement. When it is time to work, a workforce with a good work-life balance is more eager to be 100 % focused on their tasks than the ones without. With less opportunities to think about things they have to do after work, they can be more concentrated and effective. A good equilibrium between professional and personal life also decreases the risk of burnout and enhances well-being and success. Therefore, this is not only a goal to achieve for employees but also for employers. You can have a significant impact and play a big part in improving your employees’ experience. Let’s explore 16 tips you can share and try to implement with your team to help them find this balance.
1. Lower the pressure, perfection does not exist
First, the idea of work-life balance is different for all of us. Second, everything does not always go to plan. For these two reasons, stop putting pressure on yourself to find the perfect equilibrium between your working time and your free time. Some events may come along and you can’t finish work at the time you intended to in your “perfect” schedule. It is ok. Stay flexible, you will work less the next day and enjoy your free time with a clear mind.
2. Remember to do a job you love
This sounds so cliché and is not always realistic but it is very important. We spend so much time working in our lives, this time can’t be wasted doing a job we don’t enjoy. On top of that, if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, this can create a negative impact on you and on your results. This can indeed lead to mental health issues, burnout, lack of productivity and engagement. As Confucius said: “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.
3. Put your health first, it should be part of your schedule
Your health is everything. Therefore, it should be your top priority on your agenda. Whether we are talking about physical, mental or emotional health, we recommend you not to postpone any activity related to the improvement of your health. Not taking care of yourself will, without doubt, impact your free time as much as your working capacity. For example, how are you supposed to be a good leader and support people if you don’t have 100 % of your mental capacity? Putting yourself first is not selfish. When you are not in a good state of mind, you can’t do what is expected from you properly. It is as simple as this.
4. Take real breaks, a coffee break while checking your emails does not count
You need to recharge your batteries, not only while on holiday but also daily. Sometimes, we get caught in a whirlwind of tasks and requests, not knowing how to get out of it. However, it is crucial to do so. Find what works for you! Some people may like reading a novel and manage to switch off their brain this way, others meditate. Look for the activity that makes you switch off and implement it in your daily routine. It is key to learn how to take a step back and be ready to tackle your task even better.
5. Go on holidays, the world is not going to stop because you are gone
Longer breaks are, of course, also key to a good work-life balance. However, some people keep pushing this enjoyable moment away. t They might be scared of disrupting the workflow or that something will happen while they are gone. The problem is, there might always be something going on. Delaying your vacation is just increasing the amount of stress and fatigue in your mind and body. Shall we tell you how this will end? Yes, you may be less productive, become impatient or even end up experiencing burnout. You will suffer from it as well as your colleagues and loved ones. . So, again, put yourself first!
6. Prioritise moments for yourself, your family and your friends, it is good for your mental health
As we said, the amount of time that we spend working is enormous, but work is not everything. If you follow our second recommendation and do a job you love, you may not even see it as a job. However, it is not the only component of a happy life. This is why we have been talking so much about work-life balance for a few years. Don’t forget to dedicate time to your hobbies and your social life. Making space and writing down those moments in your weekly schedule is as important as your next meeting with your team. Don’t underestimate them, they are also key to a good balance.
7. Set clear boundaries for each task of your day, work-related or not
There is time for answering emails and time for cooking with your partner. Don’t mix them up. First, it can push your partner away. Second, it’s not good for your mental health either. This is also part of learning to switch off. You need to set clear boundaries between the different activities in your day. You and your colleagues need to understand that there are moments for work where you are 100 % available and other times for your private life. Also, dedicating one block of time for each task you need to do is also a great tip for a better organisation. Focus your mind on one task at a time and you will be more efficient, more productive and enjoy life more.
8. Prioritise and structure your schedule ahead to create a good balance between your professional and personal life
Especially with hybrid work (we will talk about it a bit later), you should create time blocks for each activity of your day. A block for collaborative work, another one for individual tasks, another one for dealing with emails , etc. However, as we recommended, the time at the park with your kids should also appear as well as your running session or your dentist appointment.
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9. Discover the concept of workation, the ideal mix between work and vacation
The word “workation” is the combination of “work” and “vacation” and is one of the best examples of the work flexibility concept. It allows your employees to take some time off and travel while still working at the same time. Changing the work atmosphere boosts productivity and helps employees come back refreshed. If this option is organised properly, it can increase the performance of your workforce while bringing more balance to their lives. Even though this idea is still new and has been put on hold by the pandemic, more and more companies are offering this option to their employees.
10. Create a “Fun Club”, you may discover your colleagues are more fun than they seem like
Giving the chance to your employees to create their own work events is a great way to improve the employee experience. It creates deeper connections among your team members and changes the vision of the workplace. The office building is not only the location where you work anymore but also the place where you have social interactions and have a good time. The people in charge of the “Fun Club” can be permanent or it can be based on volunteering so everybody in the company can get the opportunity to bring some fun.
11. Embrace team building activities
There is nothing more important than having a healthy relationship with colleagues and being part of a community. To focus on this aspect, team building activities can play a big part. For instance, creating a cross-functional team has so many advantages for your business and your employees. One of the main benefits of this concept is that it allows your workers to learn about their colleague’s jobs, which roles they play and how they are interconnected with their job. It also creates a feeling of community, enhances creativity and increases productivity.
12. Enjoy a family-friendly environment, this doesn’t mean holding your toddler on your lap while working
The time when we had to choose between being a parent or having a successful career is over. Childcare facilities within the office or close by should be on the top list of any business promoting an employee-centric corporate culture, a must for a company’s growth and success. Also, with the development of hybrid working models, working from home, at another time of the day or taking a day off because your child is sick shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Allowing your employees to handle their private and their professional life accordingly is key to a better work-life balance.
13. Say yes to home office and goodbye to unnecessary stress
Even though a home office may require some changes to make the most of it, remote work is one of the best ways to increase the equilibrium between your work and the rest of your life. You don’t waste time commuting to the office anymore, you can focus without being disturbed by colleagues interrupting you all the time, etc. According to a survey from FlexJobs, 73 % of the participants declared that working from home increased their work-life balance. Flexibility is not only key to attracting new talents but also to keeping productive and engaged team members on top of retaining them.
14. Appreciate the benefits of flexitime!
We are all different, in our personalities and in our needs. Some people are early birds and have their productivity peak in the morning while others can have a workflow late at night. Other aspects of your life may also make your daily schedule different from your colleagues. Mornings with kids can be quite hectic for example and you may prefer to get your work done when they are at school instead of being in a meeting with everybody around. Flexitime is a great solution to fulfill your employees’ needs according to their own lives. This is THE concept to implement if you wish to help your workers reach a healthy work-life balance.
15. Go to the office only when you want or need to, your hybrid workspace is always ready to welcome you!
A hybrid workspace allows your team members to reach the perfect equilibrium between working from home and coming on-site when they want or need to. Do you want to make their work experience even better? Give them the opportunity to book their desk, meeting room or any space they need in advance through a desk booking app like deskbird. With new trends evolving the future of work, office space planning is more based on people’s needs. Keep this in mind and don’t hesitate to embrace digital solutions to create a better balance between the professional and the personal life of your employees.
16. Speak up and communicate, there is no better person than you to talk about what your needs are
Your manager should be the first person to know about your needs and how to help you find a better balance. It is important that you communicate about any issue that would interfere with your well-being at work and your performance. As our lives are constantly evolving, our work environment is as well. However, your company can try to do better if they know about the difficulties you may be facing. They can then try to find solutions to reach a better work-life balance. Never forget that communication is key to everything.
We truly hope this article helps you better understand how you and your team members can achieve a better work-life balance. We encourage you to tackle only one step at a time, like in the Kaizen concept. It is the best way to succeed.
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