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Maintaining Work-Life Balance in Small Businesses

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that 7.8 million Americans work more than full time, with 4.8 percent of the participating workforce working more than full-time: an average of 47 hours per week. How can small business owners and their employees maintain a healthy work-life balance when their business demands so much time from them?

Schedule Time for Work and Home
At the beginning of each week, plan your schedule and follow through with prioritized time needed for specific tasks. Remember that work and life feed into each other. You have to have some flexibility, but a schedule gives you more control over your time and allows you to be more fully present both at work and personal related activities.

Trust Your Employees to Do Their Job
If you have employees, don’t micro-manage – that will simply cause your workload to mushroom. Instead, focus on hiring people with the expertise and work ethic to get the job done on your behalf and trust them to take work off your plate. If you have concerns about finding and retaining trustworthy, capable staff, talk to us. Each hire represents an investment that should pay off not just in profits but in time.

Set Firm Boundaries
Many people are reluctant to say no, particularly business owners who are emotionally and financially invested in their company. Unfortunately, “no” is one of the most important and effective ways to protect your time, energy, and personal boundaries like:

• Access boundaries – limit the frequency of how often you check your email and social media and avoid other distractions; utilize an “out of office” email autoresponder for your availability; hire an assistant to manage your schedule if possible.
• Time boundaries – follow your schedule by only working specific hours each day to allow for personal time; for your employees, assign specific goals to accomplish within set time periods; use an online form or email to save time when appropriate.
• Space boundaries – maintain a dedicated work and personal space; leave work at a set time each day; if you also work at home, separate yourself by cleaning off your work table when finished.

Promote Healthy Habits in your Business
Work related burnout is often the greatest limitation facing business owners. The American Psychological Association reports that “when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming — and harmful to both physical and emotional health.” By eating right and exercising often, you can bust stress and overwhelm. Further, take short breaks often throughout the day for your mental well-being. When you take care of your mental and physical needs, you will find an increase in productivity and a better balance both professionally and personally.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.

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