Work-life balance in a work-from-home setup may be hard to achieve and maintain considering that the remote workers also spend time in their home office, where they also relax and lead their normal routines outside work. As home-based workers get comfortable working in pajamas, they may be unmotivated to spend time with friends, do outdoor activities, or nourish their spiritual side after a long shift of working in front of a computer screen.
The burnout risk may affect every remote worker out there, risking their health, personal, social, and mental well-being. Whether they are contract workers or a freelancer hired by an outsourced CMO, their performance at work will surely affect your company’s overall direction. And thus, initiating efforts promoting their work-life balance will also benefit your team in the long run. Here are a few tips on how you can do it.
Be careful in scheduling meetings
Even if the meetings are scheduled within working hours, they may disrupt the workers’ normal routine, causing them to miss important deadlines for that day/week. Consider consulting the meetings in advance with your supervisors or managers to relay them first with their subordinates. Ideally, meetings should occur when everyone can focus and give ideas during the discussion. Workers cannot give such focus and effort if they are preoccupied with other tasks.
Limit sending messages and alerts beyond office hours
Remind leaders and supervisors to be selective on the messages sent to employees. If possible, sending messages must be done earlier on a workday. You can take advantage of scheduling software options to automatically send these messages by batch.
Encourage open communication among workers
Oftentimes, bosses are too preoccupied with managing their company and not knowing their workers’ actual problems. You may have good intentions to promote work-life balance, but how can you help fix problems if you don’t even know they exist! Let each employee speak up for themselves using a survey that will let you decide which areas need immediate improvement.
Educate your workers on how to achieve work-life balance on their own
There’s nothing more effective than directly teaching your employees practical tips to achieve work-life balance in several aspects of their lives. You may want to host a seminar, a webinar, or hire a competent speaker to deliver the presentation.
Some companies initiate wellness initiatives in increased medicare, hazard pay, or extra holidays every month or at the end of the year. If your workers are within your vicinity, you may set up a team-building activity or a party regularly to promote bonding and friendships when not working.
Be on the lookout for signs of burnout
Online employers should not just focus on their employees’ overall performance but also their well-being. Normally, employees will not admit that they are not feeling overworked, fearing that they may lose their jobs. Be proactive in spotting the signs of burnout. Ask your supervisors to observe employees’ behavior and take action on signs like absenteeism, increased errors, missing deadlines, or physical exhaustion. Talk to these workers and suggest that they work with another teammate to guide them to finish the task more efficiently.
Embrace ‘flexitime’ and be open to changes in schedules
A flexible schedule would give workers more freedom to choose the hours when they will be more efficient. You can encourage this by giving them a weekly hour requirement and allowing them to choose which working hours are more comfortable. This arrangement will let them arrange their schedule, making room for significant activities outside work such as attending their child’s soccer game or enjoying their favorite hobby.
Longer working hours online do not always guarantee productivity. A survey found out that long working hour harms the employee’s morale, resulting in depression, anxiety, and irritability. Instead, encourage workers to focus and be more efficient in their tasks to finish early and enjoy their time with their family and friends.
Online workers are not just faceless individuals who are meant to turn company goals and expectations into a reality. They are significant members of your team who lead separate, interesting lives outside work. Give them the respect and honor that they deserve. Be conscious of their time and effort that were given to your organization and return their hard work with the right incentives, awards, and acknowledgments.
You may not know them intimately, but setting open communication lines will create a rapport that all of you are working to achieve a common goal. Also, invest in tools, software, and equipment that can make their work more efficient. This may be in the form of subsidies for office furniture, a new laptop, or a relaxing workspace that helps them to set boundaries between home life and work. Most of all, make regular evaluations on these initiatives and be reading to make positive changes.