Things for teams to try: Improving Work-life balance

Most people have busy times at work, but it’s really important to look after the work-life balance of individuals and teams.

6 Work-life balance - team

1. Identify where your work-life balance has gone awry

Work-life balance is affected by things like job intensity, role strain (not working to our strengths), relationship strain (with managers, colleagues or other teams), and our personalities. Sometimes the simple act of naming things helps us shift the balance!

How to do it:

  • Take a moment individually to think about what you feel is behind your own feelings about work-life balance
  • Discuss these as a team to build awareness and rebalance things where you can
  • Discuss with managers and leaders where appropriate too.

2. Audit your work boundaries

Organizations and industries set expectations on our work but there is always scope to find space where we can shape things a little differently. We just need to find it! Use the science of peak performance to help with this and find greater balance.

How to do it:

  • As a team ask yourselves these questions:
  1. What is the norm for taking time off?
  2. Have we successfully established digital boundaries?
  3. Are there things we can do to work more efficiently?
  4. Does the organization have policies around flexible working which could be used more effectively?
  • Make a plan to implement any changes and then check in to see which improvements have been easy and which have been more difficult.

3. Develop your own team happiness manifesto

Creating a team happiness manifesto helps us identify work-life balance opportunities. It gives us the chance to create a shared understanding of how to work, and how to protect each other and the goals of the team.

How to do it:

  • Work together as a team to create a manifesto, making sure everyone contributes and feels ownership of the manifesto.
  • Make it visible so that you reinforce the content and what you expect of yourself and each other.
  • Revisit your manifesto regularly to see how well you are adhering to it.

4. Educate yourselves on the signs of burnout

By knowing the signs of burnout, you can put in place practices to help avoid or recover from it.

How to do it:

  • As a team, familiarize yourself with the symptoms that The World Health Organization uses to describe burnout:
  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
  2. Increased mental distance, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job.
  3. Reduced professional efficacy.

5. Build small acts of self-care into periods of busy work

It's usually when we are at our busiest that healthy work practices go out the window. At these times it's more important than ever to make self-care a priority and to do it in a manageable way.

How to do it:

  • Take micro breaks.
  • Turn off email alerts after hours.
  • Rest more than usual.
  • Treat yourself to something you love.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Remember what and who else is important in your life.
  • Book a holiday.
  • Write everything down that worries you and then switch off.