How do you create a healthy work-life balance for your team?
2020 may very well go down in the history books as the Year of Wellbeing. Now that remote work has become such a regular occurrence, many people managers and HR managers are now faced with a pressing question: how do I make sure that my team has a healthy work-life balance?
Create "work-only" and "relaxation" areas
Nowadays, a company can be so much more than just a workplace. All the more reason to create spaces to relax at work as well as "strictly business" areas. This also helps to promote a healthy work-life balance! When working from home, it's also important to have a workspace that's completely separate from your life. Because once you physically leave the "work-only" area in your home, it'll be easier for you to get your mind off of work and shift your focus to relaxation and fun.
Be sure to communicate that message to your team as well, and lead by example. It's up to each of us to find a place in our homes where we can do our best work. Also point out some basic guidelines for healthy ergonomics:
- Pay attention to your sitting posture: a quality office chair with lower back support and arm rests is important
- Make sure your desk is at the right height: your elbows and upper arms should stay close to your body, and your wrists should be kept straight in line with your forearms
- Position your computer monitor at eye level.
Have clearly defined plans for what you intend to accomplish in the day
It's not enough to have a clearly delineated workspace - you also need timelines and project plans that help you stay on schedule. Do you work with project timelines and scheduling tools in the office? If not, there's no time like the present to get started! Now that your team is mostly working from home, it's important to create a fixed routine. Not only for you to have an overview of what's going on, but also to keep tabs on the number of hours your staff members are working.
Have you noticed that one of your staff members is working outside the agreed upon schedule? Then adjust the working hours according to when your team works best. This also shows that you can have a clearly defined schedule yet still be flexible.
But what if you have both early risers and night owls on your team? What can you do to keep everyone happy? Working from home should not be an excuse to be less productive, but neither should it be a reason to be available 24/7.
So be sure to ask your staff members to stick to the agreed upon arrangements and to come to virtual meetings. Also be clear about when you expect them to be available or on standby.
Make time for breaks, even during office hours
You should also encourage your team members to relax for a few hours. Many managers now understand how important this is, and not only outside of office hours. Throughout the day, it's a good idea to occasionally set work aside and go for a walk or take a power nap. Not only will it replenish energy levels, it will also boost productivity!
Or what about doing something relaxing as a group activity? For example, you could set up a virtual or socially distanced walking challenge for you to do together. It's a great way to get some fresh air and exercise at the same time. Want to bet that it will bring you and your staff closer, personally as well as professionally?
Another suggestion you can make is for everyone to disable their business e-mail account on their smartphone. This way, you set a clear boundary between business and personal life.