What is Work-Life Balance?
Work Life Balance is not a one-size-fits-all definition. It varies greatly depending on your current priorities. It is about sharing your time between yourself, your business, family and community. The percentages may change depending on your business demands, but one demand should never completely outweigh the others combined.
As a business coach, I find the subject of work-life balance very interesting and essential for leaders to get the ratio right; both for themselves and equally importantly, that they encourage their staff to do the same. I personally believe that any business that practices and preaches a good work-life balance performs better than one that does not.
So we know that a good work-life balance is important, but what does it look like?
As a definition:
- Work is the function performed in the business, the rewards you receive, and the time you spend doing it.
- Life is how you spend the rest of your time and the rewards you received from working. This covers health, family, friends, personal interests, sport, and community.
- Balance is the equilibrium between your work and your life. This generally goes out of kilter when someone spends too much time at work for too little reward. Obviously this can occur for short periods of time and is acceptable in busy periods or when starting a business. However, the objective must be to achieve a long-term, sustainable balance.
My observations and focus relate to SME leaders, but I believe equally apply to the corporate business leader.
So let’s start with time. What is an acceptable amount of time to spend on your work? For life balance and the demands on people's time, generally I believe we have to look at 40-50 hours per week as being a sustainable level, with the greater number of hours being for leaders.
The challenge then is to increase rewards and work fewer hours, so how do we do this? The strategies to rectify a poor work-life balance are consistent across any business in any industry. The following are four key strategies which can be used;
Strategy 1- Increase Profitability
Profitability is what pays the reward in terms of salaries and dividends for owners. To increase the reward you have to work on increasing profitability, which ensures you have the funds to build your structure.
Strategy 2- Structure
Structure is essential to resolving many work issues. This involves employing the right people with the right skills in the right positions, then making them responsible and empowering them to do the job. This strategy has a large influence on the time element of work for a business leader.
Strategy 3 – Systemisation
The Systemisation process is the development of an integrated set of processes and procedures for all key functional areas of your business so that the right people in your structure know what they have to do and how to do it.
Strategy 4 – Time Management
Effective time management is essential to having a sustainable work-life balance. The keys are prioritizing and working on the right things and using the 4D’s (do, delegate, delete or defer).
I strongly believe that, to ensure life balance you have to start with getting the work component of the equation structured so you have the time and money to invest in your life. For example, you need to make more profit so you can increase rewards and invest in the structure so you can then have more time to spend on your life.
If you would like assistance improving your work-life balance, simply contact me;
Simply Business Australia
Philip Coombs “The Profit Coach”
0419 834 678