Your employees face the daily challenge of juggling work with their personal lives. The reality is that their lives are frequently out of balance with work responsibilities taking priority over life’s pleasures.
The problem of an unhealthy work-life balance isn’t anecdotal. Research has shown that employees are working more and living less – a lot less. A Harvard Business School survey of 1,000 professionals found that 94 percent work at least 50 hours per week and almost half put in 65 or more hours per week.
In our connected always-on culture, it’s likely that a good portion of those work hours include working in the evenings and on the weekends when everyone should be enjoying the life side of the work-life equation. It’s no wonder that another study found that 60% of those who use smartphones are connected to work for 13.5 hours or more a day.
So that your employees can be productive at work while enjoying opportunities to live their lives to the fullest, here are a few habits that you can encourage.
1. Take Personal Time in the Morning
This tip is highly underrated. Suggest swapping the habit of bounding out of bed just in time to get ready for work and get the kids off to school with the habit of getting up a half hour or an hour earlier. When we get up early, we have time for ourselves. We can create a new routine that we can do before diving into the rest of our day. Meditation, yoga, reading a chapter of a book, or exercising are great morning habits to nurture.
2. Delegate Effectively
No one person can do it all. That’s why delegation is an extremely important strategy for managing one’s workload. We get a sense of pride when we carry out our tasks personally. However, sometimes we need a little help getting things done. But remember, not everything can be delegated. So, encourage your employees to identify opportunities for delegation. It may be difficult letting tasks go, but eventually, they will see the benefits.
3. Establish Boundaries
Setting boundaries between work and life help prevent burnout. Boundaries can be a simple as committing to no work activities after 6 PM. That leaves the rest of the evening for personal and family time. Still, setting boundaries is a completely different animal from enforcing those boundaries. That’s why the real encouragement here is to make sure your employees are comfortable with enforcing the boundaries they’ve set. Even better, encourage everyone to respect each other’s boundaries.
4. Eat a Healthy Lunch
Eating a healthy lunch does wonders for the individual and the entire office. In addition to promoting a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy lunch gives us the energy we need to make it through the rest of the day. Also, eating lunch is a social activity that builds relationships and fosters collaboration between employees as well as departments within your organization. So, encourage your employees to get up from their desks and eat lunch with their co-workers. To make this habit stick, provide them with lunch every day. Then, they won’t have an excuse not to eat lunch.
5. Leave Work at Work
This habit reinforces all of the other habits. When we get up earlier in the morning to start our day off on the right foot, we shouldn’t be thinking about work. After we’ve left work for the day, we shouldn’t be thinking about work. Sure, it may be necessary from time to time to work into the evening or work on a weekend. But the same principle stands. When we aren’t working, life should be on our minds. Not work.
Also, Make Sure to Model the Habits You Encourage…
Encouraging healthy habits is important. It shows your employees that you care about them. However, it’s even more important to model the behavior that you’re encouraging. If you constantly work late nights and through the weekend, your employees will think they have to work late nights and through the weekend as well. Heed your own encouragements. You deserve a healthy work-life balance as much as your employees do.