Walking the tightrope between personal and professional lives remains largely subjective for leaders. Consider Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s controversial decision in 2013 for example. In an attempt to define boundaries, she banned telecommute for all employees. However, a later Gallup study indicated that 67 percent of companies still allowed workers to occasionally work from home. It also found that an optimal level of engagement with co-workers is required for an employee to do justice to a work-from-home arrangement. Now and then, an employee may want to telework or express the need to take a break for genuine personal reasons.
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Besides active involvement, being healthy and energetic can boost productivity at the workplace. This calls for sensitive yet smart and judicious decision-making from leaders. Smart leaders know that this is imperative to their company’s success, and they work towards achieving this delicate balance. They also want the same for their employees. Here are seven ways leaders successfully push employees towards balancing personal and professional commitments:
This brings in a favourable employee-employer attitude. According to a study, 87 percent of HR professionals interviewed said that offering flexible work options upped employee satisfaction. Thus, employers encourage open communication, promote healthy camaraderie among employees and involve them in decision making when they identify suitable prospects.
Smart leaders know that clocking in long hours, working over the weekends and carrying work home routinely are not sustainable practices and don’t encourage such patterns. Such practices are only necessary for critical projects, urgent deliveries, large ventures and other generally demanding conditions. But once these are done, the rules are relaxed for the employees who helped achieve these targets.
A leader understands what drives their employees. This includes the money employees make, the work they do and everything else they prefer in return for the quality and quantity they bring forth to the company.
By adopting technology to simplify redundant tasks, good leaders find ways to boost employee productivity and track time. This avoids the need to them to work long hours. Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, admits he does not stick to a rigid schedule at work. However, he uses scheduling tools to organise everything perfectly, finding these tools greatly helpful. He uses mobile reminders, email reminders and phone calendars to manoeuvre his way to each meeting, event and party. You can now find tools and apps that make most tasks lighter.
Whether it is a policy of not being accessible during a certain period every day, a monthly off, or vacations – good leaders respect the need for personal time on a regular basis. They believe time off from work is required to de-stress and recharge.
Good leadership always deserves appreciation. In today’s fast-paced environment, one may be tempted to make the most of their employees at the cost of the latter’s health and resources. A good leader understands that this is counter-productive to both parties. On the other hand, preaching and practising work-life balance in the organisation can go a long way in terms of job performance and satisfaction.