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6 PRINCIPLES FOR A WORK-LIFE BALANCE IN REMOTE TEAMS
03 November 2020

Here are six tips for maintaining a balance between professional and personal happiness

Research confirms that working in a remote team is one of the most productive and innovative ways to work. A virtual workplace offers fantastic benefits, such as flexibility, no commute, and more time with loved ones or leisure. Sometimes, however, remote teams face difficulty in switching off from the day, tipping the scale of our work-life equilibrium.

1 The golden role of leadership

Often team members are not aware of the consequences of neglecting a work-life balance. Leadership can offer support in creating a routine, providing the right tools, implementing boundaries, encouraging transparency, and potentially helping with any mental health issues. Here are 50 things you can do to assist your teams with a more balanced approach.

2 Rules of engagement

Without clear expectations or boundaries, team members can overwork themselves to avoid people thinking they are not putting in sufficient time. Communicate your expectations of a piece of work in advance so team members can adjust their home life accordingly. For example, let your team know if a project requires them to be online from 9am to 5pm. Your team will know they are not expected to be online after 5pm and can disconnect. Discourage personal devices for business matters and restrict sending messages at all hours of the day.

3 The right to disconnect

As technology blurs the lines between work hours and personal time, leaders might be needed to step in and protect their teams from being contacted 24/7. Developing good asynchronous communication – the ability to connect with teammates without the need or pressure to always respond in real-time – involves using the proper digital platforms, defining urgent vs. vital communication, and making real-time meetings count.

 

4 Embrace flexible scheduling

When working remotely, managers will notice some members are more productive in the morning, while others perform better after lunch or later in the day. Give autonomy to employees to adjust their work schedule in line with company goals. Your team will appreciate the trust you have in them to manage their time and workload. They will also experience peace of mind in balancing home and work demands.

5 Health is wealth

Studies show health and wellness are directly linked to maintaining a work-life balance. Encourage the team to enjoy their lunch breaks, go on walks, and practice self-care at home. Check with your organisation for wellness sessions and consider participating together as a team. Here are 101 employee wellness ideas for a happy remote workplace.

6 Slow down Fridays

Try to avoid urgent meetings, emails, assigning critical tasks, or requesting overtime from your team on a Friday. Leadership may benefit from less micromanaging and empowering teams to connect. Here are some fun team-building ideas to kick-off the weekend.