Entrepreneurs

Council Post: How Small Teams Can Set Healthy Work-Life Boundaries (Even When Growing Quickly)

For those working within a small business or team, it can be difficult to take time off. No one wants to go on vacation at the expense of their company and peers—especially during periods of rapid business growth. Still, employees and leaders need to establish healthy work-life boundaries, even when their team is small and the work is plentiful.

To provide guidance on how to do just that, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council shared some strategies to help small teams establish balance while their company is growing quickly. Follow their advice to help you and your team better prioritize rest and relaxation.

1. Be Mindful Of Others When Taking Time Off

Taking time off should be encouraged, and we do, but people need to be mindful of busy periods and colleagues. To allow for time off while being mindful of others, we have set company shutdown periods, no-time-off periods (except for illness or emergency), as well as a limit of no more than 25% of the team being allowed to be off at once. Limiting the number of people being off at the same time allows for natural coverage of tasks and teams to be able to continue to function and provide the best service to our customers. – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial

2. Limit The Length Of The Workday

One way to establish work-life boundaries in a small team during rapid growth is to set a hard, self-imposed limit on the number of hours you’ll work each day. This will help your team manage their workload and make sure there’s time for physical and mental breaks in between. Further, this will help you avoid burning out and becoming less productive. – Andy Pandharikar, Commerce.AI

3. Divide Responsibilities Evenly Among Employees

Small teams can establish work-life boundaries while experiencing rapid growth by properly delegating tasks and ensuring that no one’s workload is heavier than another’s. Too often, some employees take on more tasks than they can handle, but this is a poor practice. It’s important to split up the work evenly among employees so you decrease the chances of experiencing burnout and overstepping boundaries. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Leverage A Hybrid Workplace

Leverage a hybrid workplace to provide employees with flexibility. It turns out that working from home works, with employees reporting increases in productivity and higher levels of work-life balance and satisfaction. That’s why I highly recommend a hybrid workplace where employees have the flexibility of working from home for at least two days per week. The increase in work-life happiness will pay dividends as you scale your workforce—happy employees attract more employees who are looking for flexibility and a great place to work. – Kristopher Brian Jones, LSEO.com

5. Create A Culture Of Work-Life Balance

Taking time off is healthy and vital for a small team. Members of small teams often carry a lot of responsibility in their day-to-day work, so a mental and physical break is essential to keep up with the demand of a quickly growing business. Creating this kind of culture starts at the top—the CEO must be in support of giving their staff breaks, and ideally will lead by example. Support your employees’ time off by working with them ahead of time to shift responsibilities and tasks around while they’re out. Also, creating the opportunity for hybrid work and travel can free up employees to enjoy more time off without overwhelming others. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

6. Ensure You’re Spending Your Time On The Most Important Things

Undoubtedly, a small team can have difficulty taking time off, especially when the work is plentiful. However, most of the time we spend our time on the things that do not matter at all. This can be anything in your office that is consuming a lot of time. So, in order to get the best value from your time, start tracking it regularly. You will see where your time is actually going and how much you spend on useless things. Once you have been keeping track of it, cut your time doing the extra things and only utilize your time productively. As a result, you will be left with plenty of time and can take that time off. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

7. Plan In Advance

It all comes down to planning. With any small or large team, you need to plan in advance. Who will be covering the holidays? What if someone needs help on a weekend? What about nighttime calls from an important client? Set up key boundaries and expectations for the team. You can rotate responsibilities too; some people may not mind night calls, but absolutely want to be off for Thanksgiving. Knowing what your team will do and what you need helps a lot. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

8. Automate To Lighten Your Workload

It’s important to create automation wherever possible when you have limited team members and a lot of work. Creating auto-responses in your customer support tools based on keywords is a powerful way to help customers with minor issues. Making automated ad campaigns, drip email campaigns and working with virtual assistants from other parts of the world are also ways to save time while looking after your customers. Do your research and look for AI tools that can lighten some of the work. It’s well worth it and can help your team get some much-needed rest. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

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