Supporting work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for the wellbeing of your team and for the overall success of your practice. But with long hours and demanding schedules – not to mention team shortages and increased client pressure – it isn’t always easy to achieve.

What is work-life balance?

Work-life balance isn’t about splitting time equally between career and personal life; it’s about feeling fulfilled and content in both areas. It involves prioritising what matters most, such as hobbies, career aspirations or self-care, and establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life.

Effective time management is also key to maintaining a healthy balance between work and home. Ensuring enough time for personal and professional commitments and engaging in activities that fulfil us outside the workplace contribute to overall wellbeing and reduced stress.

Why is it so important?

A healthy work-life balance has been shown to improve mental and physical health, reduce stress, strengthen relationships and boost productivity. When we’re well-rested and fulfilled outside work, we become more focused and efficient during working hours.

Achieving a healthy balance doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll never feel stressed, nor does it mean we won’t have to make compromises somewhere along the way. The overall aim is to feel happy and fulfilled in both areas.

Remember that work-life balance varies for each person due to individual circumstances and fluctuating responsibilities. It’s an ongoing process that requires adjustments as priorities and circumstances change.

Tips to promote better work-life balance

1. Lead by example

When it comes to fostering a healthy work-life balance, leading by example is one of the most important steps you can take for your team. So, take your breaks, enjoy your hobbies, and cherish time away from the workplace – not only does it make for a healthy, happier you, but it’s vital for a healthy, happier team.

2. Offer support for carers

Juggling work and home life can be challenging at the best of times, but it is especially true for people with caring responsibilities. With that said, try to encourage a workplace culture that values balance, respecting personal time and setting clear boundaries around working hours.

Initiatives such as comprehensive parental leave and childcare benefits can go a long way to supporting employee wellbeing. Being open to flexible working arrangements, such as working from home, compressed hours or job sharing, can also be beneficial for you and your employees.

3. Incentivise balance

In addition to flexible working arrangements, generous time off policies can help your team manage family responsibilities and emergencies without repercussions. Gym and wellness programmes, dedicated quiet areas for breaks, and mental health support are other excellent ways to encourage employees to look after themselves.

4. Streamline processes

Streamlining processes can significantly improve work-life balance. Hold regular meetings to discuss workload distribution and assign tasks based on individual strengths.

It can also be helpful to identify and rid the team of unnecessary tasks and paperwork. Consider whether it is possible to digitise or improve these tasks with the help of practice management software.

5. Delegate effectively

Try not to give too much to one person. Instead, assign tasks thoughtfully by giving them to team members with the necessary skills and knowledge. Establish regular meetings, either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, to discuss progress and provide resources to ensure tasks are completed effectively.

Maintaining a work-life balance is a joint effort involving team members, managers and organisations. By setting an example, incentivising work-life balance, and embracing flexibility, we can ensure the outside interests and responsibilities of the team do not come at the cost of professional success.