How HR Can Ensure Work-Life Balance Among Remote Teams 

Use these proven tips for improving work-life balance of your employees and see their productivity and satisfaction grow.

September 9, 2020 By Guest Author Share on Twitter! Share on Facebook! Share on LinkedIn!
work-life balance tips
work-life balance

Work-life balance is one of the most sought-after aspects of a job today. According to the State of Remote Work Report 2020, close to 98% of respondents say that they would like to work remotely at least some of the time over the course of their careers. Moreover, during COVID-19 pandemic, many employees started to work remotely. However, this posed a challenge to maintaining a good work-life balance. 

✒️ In this article, you will find out how HR can ensure work-life balance among remote teams and why it is important it does. Before we start, take a look at our back-to-work toolkit for employers and support your employees during and after COVID-19 outbreak. 

The Importance of Work-Life Balance 

Making the transition to a remote working structure can often be challenging and stressful — for both the employer and the employee. For employees, switching to working from home can blur the lines between work and family life. It can also lead to more distractions and extension of working hours, thus disturbing the work-life balance. 

It is worrying that 45% of employees do not feel that their employer promotes a healthy work-life balance. 

employee work-life balance

Without proper care and planning, poor work-life balance eventually causes burnout and affects personal and professional relationships.  

On the other hand, employers may worry about time theft and productivity losses during work from home periods. They may also have a hard time tracking how their employees are spending their working days, while at the same time trying to maintain the high level of trust towards employees. 

10 Ways to Improve WorkLife Balance for Your Remote Employees 

So, how do you manage work-life balance while working from home? How can you ensure that everyone on your team is working as efficiently as they would from the office?  

There are several helpful practices that HR professionals can incorporate to help both employers and employees go through the transition smoother. Here is our list: 

1. Set clear expectations 

If what is expected is not clear, employees may find themselves overworked or feeling dissatisfied. Often, they feel they haven’t done enough. This can lead to productivity issues, burnout, and general unhappiness in the workplace.  

This is why it is essential to clearly communicate expectations for remote work. The key HR responsibilities during work from home period should entail providing clear stipulations about details like working hours, online availability, email response time, and more. 

2. Include management  

Your managers are the ones that are in direct contact with your employees every day, so they will be the ones that directly influence employees’ work-life balance. Depending on your managers’ management style, they will include your employees in decision-making processes and distribute tasks. It is also important to know that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. 

work-life balance

It is important for everyone on the team to be on the same page — and reporting managers should be aware of the specifics of working from home. They should be aware that overloading their teams with tasks or asking them to work after hours could actually prove to be counterproductive.  

It will also be helpful if managers understand that their team members may be dealing with a lot of distractions. Moreover, it may be best to let them schedule their own working hours and avoid micromanagement. When employees are given the freedom to design their own schedules, they may find easy work-arounds when it comes to work-life balance. As such, they end up accomplishing more throughout the day — and in a much less stressful environment. 

If you want your managers to be proactive and responsive to your employees’ needs during remote work, you should encourage them to use employee surveys to check on their employees’ feelings and issues. 

3. Communicate with employees regularly 

Communication on all channels is vital for work-life balance of employees. It includes clear communication from leadership to department heads and further to managers, and among team members as well. In fact86% of employees think that workplace failures are caused by lack of collaboration or ineffective communication. 

ineffective employee communication

Therefore, your workplace communication plan should include plans for keeping in touch with remote employees on daily, weekly and monthly basis. This will ensure that your employees always know what is expected of them, and will allow them to achieve good work-life balance. 

4. Provide counseling services 

Sometimes, your employees themselves may find it challenging to find the right worklife balance when working from home. In this case, it is best to have consulting services and programs available that can help employees work through the difficulties of transitioning to a remote working structure.  

Help may be offered in different areas: scheduling, time management, handling distractions, organizing a workspace, and more. There are lots of resources online that can provide useful tips on maintaining a healthy work-life balance for remote employees free of charge. For a more comprehensive solution, your company can also consider hiring a professional consultant and scheduling regular sessions for both supervisors and team members to help create a productive and stress-free environment. 

5. Provide regular feedback 

Providing regular feedback can also be very helpful for ensuring that everyone is on the right track. It will also help in boosting employee morale. 

Namely, continuous employee feedback is essential for your employees to get a sense of their performance. However, many still believe that feedback necessarily needs to be redirecting or negative, whereas research shows that the optimal ratio of positive to negative feedback should be 5:1 for best performance and productivity to occur. 

employee feedback ratio

✒️ Check out these examples of positive feedback you could give to your employees. When your employees’ are aware of the good work they are doing, they will be more productive and improve their work-life balance. 

6. Recognize your employees’ work 

Did you know that 69% of employees say they would work harder if their efforts were better appreciatedEmployee recognition makes all the difference in your employees work lives. It makes them more aware of their performance and it gives them a sense of purpose. 

Recognizing your remote employees can take form of non-monetary or monetary recognition. There are many recognition awards and ideas to choose from for both ways of appreciation. In any case, it is essential that you use the appropriate software for it in order to give your employees a good recognition experience and incorporate the recognition practice in your company’s processes. 

✒️ Get our Employee Recognition Solution Buyer’s Guide to help you find the best software for recognizing your employees, which will benefit in increased productivity, better work-life balance for your employees, and improved business results for your company. 

employee-recognition-buyers-guide

7. Use collaboration tools 

While working remotely can make a lot of things possible, it also has its limitations. Fortunately, there are lots of specialized tools available online that can help overcome these. There are lots of cost-effective digital software online that can make working remotely easier for both employers and employees, and especially help with work-life balance management. 

Collaboration tools such as BoardFlo make it easy for managers to disperse task and track their progress. It also allows employees to have an overview of their daily, weekly and monthly tasks, both individual and shared, which allows them to plan their work efficiently. 

Product icon

Drive employee collaboration with BoardFlo.

8. Incorporate Time Tracking Tools 

As mentioned above, there are lots of digital tools that can make working remotely easier. Time tracking apps can be especially useful as they can help employees manage their schedules better. At the same time, they help employers analyze productivity and delegate tasks more efficiently. This directly adds to the work-life balance efforts your employees are making. 

If you or your company’s managers often ask themselves “How can I monitor employees that work remotely?” the right time tracking tool can have all the answers. These tools provide employers with detailed reports and time sheets. Some can also monitor user activity with automated screenshots and videos taken in the background and without interference with employees’ work.  

9. Allow flexibility 

The reason why so many people love the idea of working remotely is because it gives them the ability to plan their own time and find flexibility. Employers should take this into consideration and help employees find balance between the responsibilities at home and at work.  

In fact, flexible hours are one of the most popular employee benefits that employees are currently seeking. 

work-life balance

In order to achieve that, HR teams can help mediate between employers and employees. They can work together to find a working structure that is both flexible and productive. This often means allowing employees to take some time away from work, not messaging or calling them after working hours, negotiating overtime, and so on. 

10. Implement an employee wellbeing program 

Employee wellbeing initiatives can have an impressively positive impact on work-life balance. Participating in wellbeing programs can allow employees take some beneficial time off work, help adopt healthy habits, and even serve as team building exercises.  

Besides being a great way to help your employees de-stress, employee wellbeing programs are actually cost-effective. In the long run, they help employers decrease productivity losses and absenteeism. Moreover, 85% of employers agree that employee wellbeing programs have a high impact on employee engagement, recruitment, employee retention and company culture. 

employee wellbeing program

Important Work-Life Balance Statistics 

Working remotely comes with lots of benefits but it can also affect the worklife balance for a lot of employees and create trust issues for employers and managers. Hopefully, the examples of work-life balance initiatives provided above can be beneficial for your company and help build an efficient and stress-free working environment.  

Here are some important statistics to show you the importance of work-life balance. 

work-life balance importance

Identifying and keeping to the right productivity boosting methods and using the right combination of digital tools can help both employers and employees build a trusting relationship and achieve work-life balance. Since employee recognition is the best way to appreciate your employees and boost their productivity, check out how to implement a successful employee recognition program and reap all the benefits of a well-balanced remote workplace. 

Author: Grace Morris 

employee recognition playbook