When it comes to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, startups are leading the charge. In fact, thinking like a startup is one of the best ways to attract top talent and keep them happy. From flexible work hours to company retreats, 53% of surveyed employees say job perks offer a better quality of life both in the office and outside of it.
Keeping employees engaged and happy in their jobs is key to success, especially in a highly efficient, small team. If you’re considering implementing more perks to excite employees, here are some tips from other small business CEOs and managers who introduced new strategies to help their employees maintain a healthier work-life balance.
Get Employees Out of the Office
Company outings can be a great way to rejuvenate tired employees and foster a sense of comradery between teams.
“Company activities can help your employees get out of the office for a little bit, but it also helps maintain the company culture as well as help your employees get to know one another outside of the office,” says Alayna Pehrson, content management specialist at BestCompany.com. A company outing can be as extravagant or as simple as your budget allows—an all day picnic, a work-sponsored happy hour or a full day off-site are great ways to encourage your team to bond and destress.
Institute a “No Work on Holidays” Policy
No one wants to receive an urgent email on a day off—but it’s even worse when it’s a last-minute phone call on the eve of a national holiday. Unfortunately, picking up some work here or there after hours is commonplace in a small team, but keeping holidays and scheduled vacation off-limits to work calls or emails is essential to maintaining happy, healthy employees.
“Holidays are meant for relaxing, so we make sure that when our employees are away from the office they’re not bothered by the office. No emails checked or phone calls taken. If there’s a crisis, we’ll cope—and it’s great when staff return happy and stress-free,” says Beth Bayliss, sales and marketing director of Three Monkey Design.
Trust Your Employees to Work from Home
Many employers are afraid that employees who work from home are more likely to be unproductive, but data shows that fear simply isn’t true. In fact, a study on work-life balance conducted by Stanford researchers showed that remote employees often work longer hours than their in-office counterparts.
Allowing employees to work from home (either full-time or on an as-needed basis) can be an easy, affordable way to maintain a healthy work-life balance. And as Kristen Lueck, Director of Editorial Communications & Digital Marketing at Remedy Review found, the occasional remote-work day can even lessen non-work related stress. “I work from home frequently and encourage team members to do the same. It’s amazing how much simply being able to do a load of laundry during the middle of the workday can help ease the continual work-life balance strain.”
Set the Right Example
One of the best ways to prove to your team that you’re dedicated to shaping a healthy work-life balance is maintaining your own balanced schedule.
As a manager or leader, make it clear to your employees that you value your work, but you also your value your life outside of work. Lead by example by scheduling your own vacations or remote days and, when possible, not burning the midnight oil at work.
“As a manager or leader, make sure your own life is balanced well. Giving 100% effort when it is time to work and then not emailing or working outside of work hours yourself is key. And encouraging employees to take vacations is good, but the message will be even more clear if management and CEO take vacations, too” says Crystal Huang, CEO of ProSky.
Consider Time Management Training
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to work-life balance is time management, especially when a large project or big deadline pops up. Even the most seasoned employee could likely manage his or her time better and get more out of each day. Instituting a required time management training is a great way to give your team the tools they need to prioritize tasks and work as efficiently as possible.
The most productive employees are happy ones, and while you can’t always control tight deadlines or big work projects, encouraging your team to take time to decompress can be the best way to keeping them on track. A healthy work-life balance is essential at any company, but it’s even more necessary in a small business where all hands are on deck.