4 ways managers can encourage a work-life-balance culture

Work-Life-Balance is always a popular subject in our productivity training and is becoming one of the most important criteria for employee happiness and not to forget, productivity. As soon as we enjoy our time at work and feel like we get to have a life outside the office, our overall wellbeing and productivity will significantly improve. But Work-Life-Balance isn’t just the team’s responsibility. It needs to be lead and encouraged by the top – the management team. ‘Easier said than done’, you might think. That’s exactly why we’ve summarized our top 4 tips on building a work-life-balance culture among teams.

1. Encourage Breaks

Having breaks from work is important to both, your mental and physical wellbeing. We’re not just suggesting taking a regular lunch break, but also multiple short breaks throughout the day. Switching from your computer screen to your phone screen doesn’t count as a break either, by the way. Get up and make yourself another cup of tea, go for a quick walk around the block or simply catch up with one of your colleagues. As a manager, you need to model this behaviour and actively encourage your team. Noticed someone hasn’t taken their lunch break yet? Make sure they’re going to and provide enough space in the office, so people don’t default to having lunch at their desks.

2. Flexible Working

Life happens and as a manager it’s your responsibility to make it easy for your team to have a life outside of the office. Offer flexible working arrangements such as remote working, 4-day weeks and other forms of flexible working to your team. Today’s jobs don’t really require us to be in the office 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. Don’t forget, just because someone’s present in the office, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re getting a lot of work done. Encourage your team to move around during the day, hopping to coffee shops in the afternoon, working from home from time to time or adjusting their hours, so they can finish work earlier.
Our team at Think Productive are big fans of the 4-day week. Our team members work slightly longer hours for 4 days a week and work a 5-day week once in every 3 weeks. It gives them extra time for life admin and who would say no to a 3-day weekend? And because the team takes turns in covering one Friday a month, our clients do not feel a difference and will still get to speak to someone on Fridays.

3. Embrace Quiet Space

Everyone working in an office, especially an open office space, knows that the volume can sometimes rise to an impractical level, resulting in distractions and the inability to complete work during set hours. Alongside this, we all have days on which we just want to spend time alone and in peace. Therefore, we’d recommend introducing a quiet space in your office, where your team can go and collect their thoughts. The quiet space will come in handy for big projects which require a lot of attention and will provide everyone a nice space for their weekly reviews.

4. Walk the Walk

It’s one thing to remind your team of all the things they should be doing, but if they see their manager staying late every day, sending emails after office hours and still being in touch while they’re on holiday, no reminder will make any difference. As their manager, you’ll have to model the behaviour you want to see. Only then, a Work-Life-Balance culture will start to form among your teams.


By Hannah Urbanek

Hannah is Think Productive’s Head of Marketing and is the main voice behind their online content and social media. Think Productive are one of the world’s leading time management training providers. Their range of practical, human and straight to the point workshops have been transforming the productivity and wellbeing of leading companies and organizations around the world. In fact, 99% of participants say their workshops will make a positive difference to their productivity. Find out how Think Productive’s Productivity Ninjas (that’s what they call their trainers) could transform your team’s productivity, get your inbox to zero and make meetings more effective. Get in touch with Hannah and the rest of the team at hello@thinkproductive.co.uk or 01273 913 217 to start the conversation.  

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