Manage Expectations When It Comes To Work-Life Balance
Now that we’re in a time of constant and instant communication (i.e. Slack/e-mail via smartphones), work-life balance becomes tricky. How can you, as a manager, set these boundaries?
There’s no sure-fire way to approach this balance. How you draw your line depends on several factors, including your leadership style, company culture and the functions of your team. What’s important is that you can communicate with your employees and set the stage for them. Here are some best practices:
1. Set clear, ground rules.
Establish your ground rules early on. This includes your expectations for work hours, time off, vacations, working from home, etc.
2. Set expectations for smartphone-connected platforms (i.e. e-mail, Slack).
For example, say something along the lines of, “I may e-mail you outside of work hours, but I don’t expect you to respond at those times.” This reminds your team what your expectations are.
3. Be clear on expectations when the workload increases.
When the workload gets heavier, be clear about why that’s the case. Perhaps the deadline for a quarterly report is approaching? Let your team know, explain why it’s important, and thank them in advance for their hard work,
Pro Tip: “For me, business is life. My sense of being is work. I’ve realize that it’s not the same for everyone else. I hope my employees look forward to work, but not everyone is the same. For some people, work is just a paycheck. It pays their car bills, and helps send their kids to school. As a first-time manager, I failed to see how the strain of long hours and working weekends affected my team.” – William Bauer, MD, Royce