An effective manager believe that employees have lives outside of work. Supporting a healthy work-life balance for staff leads to more engaged and productive employees. Managers should avoid promoting a culture of overwork and make sure people don’t feel pressured to put in excessive hours at the expense of their personal lives.
To maintain boundaries, managers can set clear expectations about responding after hours and on weekends. Make it acceptable for people to disconnect and recharge outside of work. Also, lead by example – if you regularly send late night emails, others will feel compelled to do the same. Show you value personal time by being thoughtful about calling or emailing staff during off-peak hours or when they’re on vacation.
Schedule meetings within core hours whenever possible, and avoid filling calendars with back-to-back meetings. Build in breaks so people have time for personal needs as well as informal social connections. And pay attention to signs of burnout – address excessive workload proactively by bringing in temporary help if needed.
Promote and model taking time off. Make sure your team knows about available paid time off and flex policies. Encourage people to use their full vacation allowance – don’t let them lose accrued days at the end of the year. And when you take time off, fully disconnect yourself and let others know you’ll be unavailable.
To build camaraderie and social connections, organise occasional team building activities outside of work. Share meals together, volunteer for a local charity event, or plan informal social gatherings. Getting to know people as more than just co-workers enhances collaboration, job satisfaction and well-being.
Support employees’ responsibilities outside work as well. Be flexible about scheduling when possible to accommodate family obligations, appointments, etc. Ask about significant events coming up and acknowledge milestones. If you notice someone seems overloaded managing personal and professional demands, check in on them privately to see if any temporary adjustments could help.
Making work-life balance a priority as a manager benefits the organisation as well as individual team members. Employees will be more loyal, productive, focused and energised when they don’t feel burned out and overworked. Maintaining reasonable hours and boundaries creates a healthier, happier workplace culture.