It requires extraordinary commitment and passion to transform an idea into a bona fide business. Startup life is nothing if not a massive time commitment, but in striving for success, most entrepreneurs are willing to make the social sacrifice. And while dedication is paramount in fostering a thriving company, it is important to take a step back and remember that you are only human. A healthy work-life balance is critical in staying sane and counteracting the many all nighters and working weekends that are sure to arise from time to time. No amount of coffee can fill the void of a good night's sleep, and the benefits of taking some time off are not to be underestimated. Each person's formula for structuring a functioning work-life balance will vary, but here are three steps to get you started.
1.) Define Your Standard For A Healthy Work-Life Balance And Stick To It
You want your team to work hard toward a common goal, we get it. But asking them to neglect everything outside of their job for sixty-plus hours a week is not the way to keep an organization motivated. It’s important to know when a break is not only warranted, but necessary. The work required to make a successful startup stretches the length of a marathon, not a sprint, so lead by example and empower your team to take the time they need to rest and rejuvenate. The time away from work can also be an opportunity for team building or even allow for new perspectives.
2.) Be Flexible With Work Arrangements
Working remotely can benefit those who want the flexibility to do what they need to do during the day and still get their job done. If your team has proven they work well both in the office and outside, consider offering them the option to work from home when necessary. You may have an ingenious developer who can create brilliant, clean code, but needs to work remotely on Fridays to participate in a PTA meeting or fundraiser for their child. Being flexible shows you value and understand that people have lives outside of their work, and if you give them the space to manage both, there is a good chance your team will work even harder without you ever having to ask.
3.) Make Health And Wellness A Requirement, Not An Option
Eat well, exercise, and take breaks when you need to. These are things you want to promote and encourage across your organization. Team-wide health challenges, goal setting, and activities are small ways you can provide value and encourage a balanced approach to the work day. When your team sees the leader initiate these efforts, they will be more likely to follow suit and participate. The return you see on this approach may not be apparent in the beginning, but once you establish a culture of health and wellness, don't be surprised to see a significant increase in overall employee satisfaction and quality of output from your team.