As a leader, it is important that I find ways to encourage a better work-life balance throughout SmartPA – and I believe this starts from the top down. For me, maintaining my work-life balance is essential for how I perform as an individual and as a leader.
As CEO of a global company, I am striving to ensure employees achieve their own positive work-life balance. Juggling the demands of a career and personal life is an ongoing challenge and we are always encouraging better work-life practices. It is important to develop my own work-life balance and use what I am constantly learning to implement strategies for creating a company culture that prioritises work-life balance. It is widely understood that happy people are more productive, something that is key to successful business growth.
Everyone’s idea of the perfect work-life balance will differ, especially for those at different stages in their lives. My responsibilities as a working Dad, dictates my balance the most. Over my many years in the industry, as SmartPA has grown to where it is now, so have my 3 kids – with one of them heading off to University this year. Here are my 5 tips on how you can improve your personal work-life balance and the work-life balance culture at your organisation:
1. Flexible Working
Several members of the team, including our managing director Sarra Bejaoui work from home 2-3 days a week. Supporting a family, especially those with younger children can be difficult and we aim to make the balance between work and family healthy for everyone. Modern day tech can support the flexible working options and as a working dad, I know how beneficial working from home can be.
Work-life Balance Sessions
One of our most recent introductions, to help boost morale at HQ is a regular work-life balance session. One of our sessions has been ‘bring your dog to work’ day – it’s well known that dogs decrease stress and make great co-workers! Due to the success of our first session, we have now made this a monthly event and feel that this is a fundamental area to ensure our employees feel supported.
Friday 4pm Finishes
Small changes can make a big difference. Several years ago, we introduced the 4pm finish on Fridays to the team and the feedback has been overwhelming. Leaving the office an hour and a half earlier than our usual 5:30pm, gives the team valuable time to socialise, complete personal tasks that would usually be crammed into lunch breaks and allows them to beat the commute.
Weekend Activities, Daily!
I will be honest; I often work long hours which includes 5:30am starts and I often end up working late in the evenings. To combat this, I strike my work-life balance by playing golf twice a week. This is my time to completely cut off from all pressures of work, connect with nature and allows me to take a breather to recharge.
When I am in the office, I always ask the team about their hobbies and activities and regularly discuss how my golf game is going. I want the team to be motivated in what they do here at SmartPA but most importantly, motivated and successful in what they don’t do here. Just having a conversation and asking people about their personal life can really spark something amazing and by discussing my own hobbies, I hope to encourage others.
We do not specify times for lunch breaks and encourage productivity rather than hours. The number of companies that require members of staff to finish their lunch break before a certain time is staggering. This is something that I do not believe in and encourage the team to take breaks, take a walk or work from an entirely different part of the office. Sometimes the team chatter and phones can be distracting and overwhelming – it is healthy to get away from the noise for a bit.
Without this balance, we would not function properly.
Happy team members both at work and away from the business are key to growing the success of our organisation. I am entirely grateful for the work and effort the team deliver and I am always thinking about the best ways to support them to improve their own work-life balance. I encourage all leaders to review their own work-life balance and to invest in their team’s work-life balance also – the results are quite amazing!