The importance of work/life balance is well-known among professionals. Everyone understands the overall, purported benefits of keeping your personal and professional life in check: less stress, better health, increased productivity, and higher levels of morale. Even traditionally high-stress environments, like financial firms on Wall Street, are taking precautions against burning out their employees by reducing hours.
As a professional leader you, too, work to ensure your team is balancing their roles inside and outside the office. The best way to do this: figure out a work/life balance for yourself. The benefits are endless, though here are a few of the best rewards reaped from harmonizing the biggest priorities in your life.
1. Helps Your Performance as a Leader
Sometimes too much is relying on you to not take a break from work. Yes, you read that right. Working too hard will not necessarily get you ahead if it results in poor health, a loss of mental clarity, strain on your personal relationships, and an overall resentful attitude toward your responsibilities. Even the most driven project manager in the tech industry needs to recognize when they should shut the laptop and meet a coworker for a crab melt at Buck’s of Woodside. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, such opportunities are plentiful.
Let’s consider what happens to your performance if you don’t take needed time off or bring work home too often. Stress levels rise and so you sleep less, exercise and nutrition become less important, you become irritable, and your thinking at work becomes cloudy. As you become less decisive at work your productivity levels slip, which creates more stress in the office and then eventually at home. This will only erode confidence and goodwill between you and your employees, and no one wants that to happen.
Generous leave policies are proven to benefit individual workers and companies as a whole. As a business owner or manager, you may not have anyone looking out for these needs in your own life. Knowing how adequate time away from the office will enhance your professional efforts should be reason enough to provide work/life policies for yourself.
2. Sets The Best Example for Those You Lead
Perhaps no official efforts on your part will protect your employees’ work/life balance as well as maintaining equilibrium in your own life. Especially if you are a business owner or executive, your habits as a leader play a huge part in creating the culture of your work environment. When they see you take the time to cultivate personal relationships and interests yet are still highly motivated, productive, and successful, your employees will be more likely to embody these habits their own lives.
This can lead to the best people vying to work for you. Imagine a staffing agency for creatives in Palo Alto presents your company profile to highly-skilled copywriters you would love to have on your team. Creatives are particularly aware of how important downtime is for feeding their time at work. If the agency can honestly communicate how you promote work/life balance in your office culture, you will have a much better chance of attracting the creative professionals you need to move your business forward.
3. Allows You to Continue Enjoying Your Work
A healthy work/life balance for your employees will boost their morale, and it will do the same for you. Leaders are more likely than most to cease enjoying their work because of how often managerial tasks detract from the work they are passionate about. This only exacerbates the typical strains of professional life like unexpected long hours.
Say you work as a marketing professional for the tech industry and commute to San Jose everyday. You could consider the morning drive as extended office time where you prepare for the day ahead. Some professionals find this helpful. But if it leaves you showing up to work stressed, your commute may be better spent listening to music you love, catching up on podcasts, or meditating– anything that leaves you better ready to embrace the day and greet your employees with the best attitude.
Remembering who you are outside of work will only reinforce the better part of your professional identity and bring you back to the touchstone of why you are so good at doing what you do. The more you enjoy your job the more effective you will be on the job, even if your work/life initiatives have scaled back the hours you are expected to work.