As the post-pandemic era unfolds, a monumental shift in the workplace has become more apparent. More and more organizations are taking advantage of remote work arrangements.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, about 71% of American workers did their jobs from home most of the time towards the end of 2020.
With the increase in the number of teams working from home, the work-life balance problem has taken on a whole new dynamic. How do we ensure productivity without compromising on personal time?
The Slack Example
When we speak of companies that have cracked the code to balance remote work and life, we cannot ignore the journey of Slack, a renowned collaboration hub.
At the height of the pandemic, Slack, like many other startup teams working from home, made a swift transition to a fully remote model. Despite this abrupt change, the company managed to maintain productivity levels and employee satisfaction.
So how did Slack do it? They implemented a ‘virtual commute’ feature that helps delineate professional and personal time. By marking the beginning and end of the workday, Slack employees were better equipped to create boundaries between their work and home life.
Reflecting on this success, Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack, once said, “Work-life balance is essential in a remote environment. We need to respect personal time as much as we value productivity.”
How can we draw inspiration from Slack’s story in our quest to achieve work-life balance in our remote teams?
Setting Clear Boundaries
Setting clear boundaries between work and personal life particularly when teams work from home is crucial. Remote workers often blur these lines, leading to burnout and decreased productivity. Are you guilty of sending emails at midnight or attending work calls during dinner?
Here’s what you can do:
- Establish fixed work hours: Setting and communicating your availability ensures that you respect your personal time and encourage others to do the same.
- Designate a workspace: A dedicated workspace signals to your brain that it’s work time, creating a psychological boundary between work and relaxation.
As teams work from home, the importance of prioritizing well-being cannot be overstated. Health is wealth – and this isn’t just a catchy phrase. Without a healthy mind and body, achieving balance becomes an uphill task.
How can we ensure our well-being while working from home?
- Take frequent breaks: Regular breaks can reduce fatigue and enhance productivity. Use this time to stretch, hydrate or just take a quick mental break.
- Promote mental health: Use tools like meditation apps or virtual fitness classes to maintain mental health and promote physical fitness.
Adopting Asynchronous Communication
In remote teams, constant communication can become a source of distraction and stress. Asynchronous communication – not requiring an immediate response – can help.
It offers the flexibility to respond when it’s most convenient, promoting a sense of control over one’s time.
How are you currently communicating in your team? Is it time for a change?
Here are some steps to adopt asynchronous communication:
- Establish communication norms: Set guidelines on when and how to use synchronous and asynchronous communication.
- Leverage appropriate tools: Use project management tools like Trello or Asana to track progress without needing constant updates.
A common misconception about teams working from home is the lack of productivity. However, a study by Stanford showed that remote workers can be up to 13% more productive.
This underlines the importance of trusting your team and focusing on results rather than physical presence.
Balancing work and life in remote teams can be challenging but not impossible. By setting clear boundaries, prioritizing well-being, and adopting asynchronous communication, we can emulate the success of companies like Slack.
As the saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So, let’s remember to value our personal time as much as our work and create a healthier, happier remote working environment.
- What are some examples of good data breach response practices? - December 1, 2023
- How can we educate employees about cybersecurity policies? - December 1, 2023
- How does cyber insurance protect a business? - November 30, 2023