As a leadership coach and speaker, I interact with teams of all kinds—including many virtual teams. Telecommuting and remote collaboration technology have changed the way we work, and the benefits are striking. Companies can reduce overhead and provide their employees with more flexibility; employees, in turn, often love the freedom they have to get their work done in a home office environment.
Remote teams make many things easier, but some things a bit harder. Maintaining a unified company culture is one example. And providing work-life balance is another. After all, when your employees work from home, that means their leisure and their office space are ever-intermingled. How can you, as a manager or leader, help them maintain some sense of separation between the two?
Tips for Balancing Work and Life for Remote Employees
Let me offer a few quick, practical suggestions:
- Set a schedule and stick to it. You can offer your team members some flexibility while still insisting that they get their work done within a reasonable set of parameters. The freedom to nap all afternoon and work into the wee hours of the morning may appeal to some employees, but really all it does is throw that sense of balance out of whack. Make it clear that your employees are to maintain more-or-less regular business hours. You can still be flexible with people who need to duck out for a doctor’s appointment, and at the same time keep your office working on basically the same timeline.
- Take a break from e-mail. Here’s a good way to set the tone and lead by example: Don’t e-mail any of your employees after hours or on the weekend. Take a break from around-the-clock e-mail, and show your employees that you value their free time at night and on Saturday and Sunday.
- Get together. From time to time—even if only once or twice a year—get everyone together for some face time. And don’t always make it a meeting, either: Social gatherings, parties, and team-building activities are wonderful ways to reorient your team members to a life of balance.
With these short tips, you can ensure that the folks on your virtual teams who work remotely aren’t letting their work kill their home life—or vice versa.
Dr. Rick Goodman CSP is a thought leader in the world of leadership and is one of the most sought after conference keynote speakers on leadership, engagement, and business growth in the United States and internationally.
He is also the author of the book Living A Championship Life, “A Game Plan for Success,” and the co–author of the book Jamie’s Journey: Travels with My Dad written by his sixteen-year-old daughter Jamie.
Dr. Rick is famous for helping organizations, corporations, and individuals with systems and strategies that produce increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micromanaging the process. Some of Dr. Rick’s clients include Heineken, AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Franklin Templeton Investments.
You can contact Dr. Rick at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.