Tips on how to improve your work life balance

Santa Hartmane
July 25, 2022

Work stress is commonplace, especially in the startup sector, where the workload is particularly high. Competitive pressure on every corner does not exactly lead to a relaxed working day. Digitization and communication lead to round-the-clock accessibility. In Internet startups in particular, it is often possible to work from anywhere in the world. Although the 24/7 paradigm seems like a wonderful freedom, it also results in undesirable developments: critical emails with time-sensitive requests and internal business discussions can happen on WhatsApp at any time of day. The good news is that you are free to make your own decisions. This is just one of the many advantages of being a founder. Optimal work-life balance can be achieved by a startup entrepreneur just as by an employee.

A successful work-life balance requires the consideration of all areas of life. In summary, these four areas of life are:

  • Professional life – career, success and money
  • Health and body – conscious nutrition, relaxation and regular exercise
  • The social component—family, friends, recognition
  • Everything that appeals to your senses - love, hobbies, and self-realization

The areas of life are interrelated - distribute the invested energy over all areas. An example: Someone who devotes all his energy to his job and neglects his health and body quickly feels a decrease in performance. Private life and work must harmonise with each other. The energy expended should take all aspects into account. This applies to managers as well as working mothers. Full performance at work, a lot of energy for private life - and not giving yourself enough rest: this phenomenon is widespread. If you neglect one or more areas of life in the long term, your balance will be upset, with negative effects on all areas.

Remember, a good work-life balance may also save you a lot of money. Happy employees are always more productive and make fewer mistakes. They are also more creative and innovative. Their wild ideas will contribute to the startup's growth. In the end, it will reduce the turnover of the startup.

Here are some tips to create work-life balance at your startup.

Concessions in moderation

Typically, work takes precedence over personal obligations; this rarely happens the other way around. How many people have heard the expression "Honey, I'm going to be late today"? It's easy, because there is usually no project at stake at home. After all, the family is there anyway, but the project is unique. That may be true when it is the exception. But if it becomes permanent, the family will suffer and may be at stake. We advise that you moderately give in to your increased workload. There are always deadline sprints, and if the business partner gets sick, there is always more to do. But exceptions prove the rule, and here we are again with regular working hours.

Build a fixed framework of active work

People enjoy working into the night, especially in the first year of starting a business, and view the weekend as a useful supplement to the "just" 5 days. But you put both your health and your private life in danger when you have such a heavy workload. The beauty of your role as a founder is you are not trapped in a rigid blueprint. Set aside at least one core working period. You can then move forward or backward according to the demands of the day, but don't stay up into the night working. If a cohesive block of work doesn't make you happy - and your industry allows for it - you could try a split in two. An example: work from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., then lunch and free time until 7 p.m.. Then go back to work until 10 p.m.

Remote work

All employees find remote work appealing, and it can really increase productivity, especially for those who have long commutes or find office chatter to be distracting. Allow employees to choose remote work if they prefer the peace and quiet at home, especially when preparing reports or making frequent sales calls, for example. Home comforts can contribute to a more favorable work atmosphere, which results in better work from personnel.

Finding a balance that keeps you healthy is possible. But it means you have to be mindful. You must take a close look at yourself in order to understand your own demands (and subsequently, how you function best). Because if you can recharge your batteries away from work, you'll be able to perform at a high level at work. It is essential to create time slots for this and then to use them.

Consider your leadership position as an illustration of a healthy work-life balance. After all, as a business owner, you want to ensure that your staff members have a healthy work-life balance too. Embrace work life balance culture. Your startup can only benefit from that.

App-based time management

We live in the digital age and can use a variety of tools. The human brain can only store limited processes and memories. You can outsource many things to free your head for the current task. Apps help you stay on top of your tasks and schedules. They remind you of deadlines and allow you to prioritise. All these functions no longer have to take place in your head. You can now use the freed capacity where it is needed - for completing tasks.