Striking the right work/life balance

18/06/2018 17:00 | Start a business

Work-life balance advice

At various times in our working lives, we've all wished we had a little more time off and a bit less time in the office. While working hard at the expense of your personal life may be alright in very concentrated doses, over time it can cause serious problems. Here, we take a look at why striking a healthy work/life balance is necessary and how to achieve it.

Why is a good balance important?

A good work/life balance is vital for a wide variety of reasons. Whether you're the head of a part-time, affordable franchise or an established international franchise, being a franchisee can be hard work. It often requires long hours and incredible dedication to succeed. This makes striking a good work/life balance a bit of a challenge. However, its necessary to do so for the following reasons;

  • Productivity those workers that strike a healthy work/life balance are much more likely to use their work hours productively.
  • Prevent burnout All work and no play results in burnout. Those workers who dont balance their personal and professional lives are likely to experience sudden drops in performance levels and eventual exhaustion.
  • Health A good work/life balance can result in a healthier lifestyle and a longer lifespan.
  • Employee happiness and retention Franchisers who extend their good work/life balance principles to employees are much more likely to retain their top talent and attract the best possible recruits.

How to achieve the right balance

1. Reduce your working hours
Though it may sound obvious, the quickest and easiest way to strike a better work/life balance is to reduce your working hours. Many studies have found that a longer day is by no means a more productive day and many companies have had great success moving to a shorter working day. If employees work in shorter, more concentrated bursts, they'll typically get as much done as they would if they sat at the desk for a much longer period. The truth is, if you're sat at a desk for eight hours with only one break, youll probably end up doing three or four hours concentrated work. Maybe its time to consider buying into a part-time franchise?

2. Hand it over to machines
If you want to take some of the strain off your own back, consider automating as much of your workload as possible. While it may cost you to implement automated technologies, youll end up saving a great deal in the long run and be able to take more time off. There is an enormous number of automation technologies available at the moment, and they range from marketing tools to analytics software. Start building up your automation armoury, and you'll soon find that you've got more spare time on your hands.

3. Adopt cloud technology
Cloud technology is a fantastic franchise investment. Not only is it becoming the most widespread means of data storage in every industry on the planet, but it also allows you to access your workload wherever you go. Cloud computing technology is becoming a key component in business collaborations, and also allows business owners to work from home, on their daily commute, or from remote locations around the globe. This freedom is one way in which a better work/life balance can be achieved.

4. Work on the go
Technology allows franchisees and employees to work on the go and limit time spent in the office. Increasingly powerful collaboration tools ensure that staff can work together on projects no matter where they are, while excellent online communication tools allow staff to keep in touch any time of day. For a franchisee that's running several units, these tools can prove invaluable in cutting down on time spent moving between the different locations.

5. Get connected
Internet of Things (IoT) devices will also play an increasingly important role in a better work/life balance by reducing the amount of time spent on menial tasks. As a more significant number of devices have IoT capabilities built into them, the organisation and operation of the workplace will become far more efficient and require far less human involvement. For instance, IoT door locks could streamline the opening up process, while IoT printers could ensure you never have to order another ink cartridge again. While these may seem like small steps, when theyre combined, they can result in a great deal of time saved.

6. Just say no.'
Moving away from technological developments, franchisees also need to learn to just say no. As the head of a business, its tempting to respond to every request for help and each directive from head office immediately. This simply isnt necessary. A good boss will know when to say no, when to leave something until later, and when to do something straight away. Though it may be difficult to tell your franchisor that you wont be doing exactly as they ask, its sometimes necessary to do so.

7. Switch off
Striking the right work/life balance is also all about being able to switch off, relax, and unwind. If you aren't able to enjoy your free time, then what's the point of trying to have more of it? Always having work at the back of your mind is understandable. After all, you've made a substantial franchise investment, and you need to make it pay. However, in the long run, never switching off will only be detrimental to your performance and your business. If you can't let go of work, you'll eventually burn out, and the business will suffer as a result.

8. Take a holiday
Finally, if youre going to get your work/life balance right, at some point, you're going to have to take a holiday. Though you may feel nervous about walking away from your franchise, everyone needs to clear their minds, escape it all, and do exactly what they want for a week or two.

As you can see, striking a healthy work/life balance is essential for a variety of reasons. Its also not as difficult to achieve as you may have thought. If you feel you havent quite got the right balance, try implementing some of our top tips for quick improvement.

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