person-woman-relaxation-girlWhether you work in the for-profit or not-for-profit sector, a growing number of institutions expect their staff to accomplish more work with fewer resources. This is especially true when it comes to the most valuable resource of all, time.

Teams are now expected to be available practically around the clock and put in longer hours and work schedules that include odd times, extended hours and rotating shifts. As a result, achieving a sensible work-life balance has quickly become a fantasy for many workers.

Implementing one or more of the following suggestions can make it easier for you and your staff to achieve a good work-life balance and will show your people that you do truly care for them, and their well-being.

Set a Good Example – Leave Work on Time Yourself

One of the primary roles that leaders perform is to model the actions and behaviour that they want their teams to follow. It isn’t enough to say that you want your workers to practice good-self care if you don’t model this very behaviour yourself.

While there may be times that you and others face a time crunch and need to put in some extra hours, don’t let this become a habit for yourself or your team. As much as possible, leave work on time and encourage your people to do the same. Don’t just physically leave your work but stop reading and replying to your work emails after your shift ends. Don’t send new emails out after work, either.

Everyone needs time to rest and relax and recharge their batteries so that they can perform their best every day.

Offer Flexible Shifts

Offering flexible shifts, along with options to telecommute and other remote work opportunities can make it easier for your workers to meet their personal and professional responsibilities. Just be careful to adjust your expectations.

Remember that just because some of your staff is working from home, doesn’t mean that you expect them to be available 24/7. Encourage your remote workers to set boundaries between their competing commitments. Stress the importance of scheduling free, personal time and ask them to leave work that remains undone for their next shift.

Make Breaks Relaxing

Stress is a genuine problem in the workplace, and it isn’t just the tasks that we are asked to perform on a routine basis. Sometimes, it’s the physical space where we work, that adds to our already heavy workload.

Consider the layout of your offices and other work locations. Does it feature adequate lighting? Is the walk-through designed to be open, and make it easy to get to where you need to go, and find what you need? Are there spaces where workers can take a break and truly be free from the sights and sounds of their work?

In addition to a standard breakroom where your staff can sit down and eat, look for ways to include quiet, relaxing spaces where your people can sit and relax and literally hear themselves think. Outdoor gazebos in a small green space would be ideal, and an indoor, sunlit room with comfortable seating is another option if your facility lacks an open space.

Of course, not everyone finds solitude relaxing, so you might also consider adding an entertainment room, with TV, and video gaming consoles to allow your staff to enjoy during the breaks. Treadmills and gym equipment are also popular choices that can help your people blow off some steam, and get in some exercise, when they take breaks during work.

Make Work a Social Event

Finally, another way to help make your workplace a more enjoyable one is to encourage social activities that will help your people connect with one another and form genuine friendships both in and outside of the workplace. Not only will this help you build a strong team that knows how to talk to one another and work well together, but it will also help your team members to feel more relaxed and less stressed both in and outside of the office.