You’ve worked hard to build your business and establish your personal reputation in your career field. You put in long hours for your clients and coworkers. However, even during busy times, it is important to take care of yourself. Look for ways to realize efficiencies and use the tools at your disposal wisely, and make time to get away from the office and relax. You’ll set an important example for others that showcases how to promote a culture of work/life balance by following some of these simple tips.
You and your staff don’t have to be experts at everything and don’t need to feel chained to the office all day and night. An after hours answering service, for example, can make it so you don’t miss a single phone call or the potential sales that might come with it, whether it be received at 4 in the morning, on a weekend, or during a major holiday. There will always be a friendly voice to greet your customers. Take it one step further and try out a virtual assistant to help keep your business operations going without having to hire additional full-time staff. You never know when circumstances can change, and that extra help could really come in handy.
There are several areas where help from an outside agency can allow you to focus on your core business while still having professionals in certain fields at the ready to assist you. Evaluate your technology, marketing, and financial services needs. Are you trying to do too much in sectors where you don't know enough? Look for support from qualified, recommended professionals. You can interview them just as you would potential employees, but without committing to a hefty salary and benefits package. This is a straightforward way to promote a culture of work/life balance.
Your company culture should acknowledge that employees need time away from work. That doesn’t just mean not in the office. Workers need to be able to completely disconnect from their physical and virtual job demands in order to rest, rejuvenate, and be ready to deliver their best to the business. Make sure employees at all levels are earning an appropriate amount of vacation and personal days and that they are encouraged to use them. Upper management should set the bar for this and make sure there are proper work processes in place so employees feel comfortable being able to step away from time to time. Time off isn’t a reward if it can’t be utilized.
When you feel your best, you are probably going to perform better than when you're drained and suffering from burnout. Bad habits and stress can have huge negative impacts on a person's physical and mental health. Create opportunities in the workplace to learn about living a positive lifestyle. Consider hosting lunch and learn sessions on topics including sleep hygiene, nutrition, conflict management, and others that are relevant. Your local health department or hospital might be able to teach short classes for you as a community service. A newsletter on these subjects would help reach more of the workforce, too, especially if it was available on a common area bulletin board as well as electronically. Offer a free or subsidized gym membership. This can help staff blow off steam from a bad day in a productive manner and maintain their health in general. Make screenings such as blood pressure readings readily available and reward those that work to get their numbers in optimal ranges. You can even have some fun by introducing a little competition to the mix! Who can walk the most steps in a month or log a workout every day? Offer prizes to keep it interesting.
Both the hours in the workplace and the time spent at home or engaging in a favorite hobby are vital to a person's wellbeing. Too much of one or the other and multiple aspects of their life, and your business, can suffer. Take action to lessen the load in the office where and when possible and acknowledge that you and your staff have personal lives that must be nurtured. By doing so you help your team help themselves and it will promote a culture of work/life balance.
In the end, striking a good balance will lead to happier employees and a better bottom line. Take action today, do as you say, and you will reap the rewards for years to come.