Work-life balance is a goal that many tech professionals struggle to realize. IT jobs are incredibly stressful, and most tech teams are stretched well beyond their limits. Fewer people in the corporate world log more hours than IT teams. However, achieving strong work-life balance is important for managing stress and hedging against burnout.
Why Work-Life Balance Matters
When someone feels like they are working every waking minute of your day, if their stomach knots up every time their smartphone buzzes, and if they feel like they can’t ever relax, the stress will have a negative impact on that person’s physical and mental health. Over time, prolonged stress can lead to anxiety, depression, cardiovascular problems, sleep disorders, weight gain, viruses and other health issues.
Tech pros have extremely stressful jobs. They work long hours and are often on call, and the constant pressure is why many people burn out. When employees burn out at work, their productivity and engagement suffer and ultimately, they look for new jobs. It is critical to help your tech team achieve better work-life balance, so they remain happy and engaged in their work.
Practical Tips For Managing Work-Life Balance
As a leader, you can help your team achieve stronger balance through a variety of strategies:
- Encourage use of personal time: Your company provides personal time for a reason. If you notice someone hasn’t been using their personal, encourage them to take a day or two to get out of the office and recharge their batteries.
- Allow them to disconnect: When someone is off the clock and if they are not on call, discourage the team from contacting them unless it is an absolute emergency. Personal time does no good if your employees spend it working.
- Assign backups: You can aid in boundary-setting by assigning backups. “Backup buddies” cover each other on days off, so nothing falls through the cracks and the employee who is off has a chance to disconnect.
- Offer flexibility: Do you really need everyone in the office from nine to five every day? Or could people be offered the freedom to work any eight hours they want within reason? Offering flexible start times between 7 am and 10 am and affords them the opportunity to take their kids to school or leave early to catch a child’s sporting event, or to just choose the hours they know they are the most productive.
- Augment your staff: If you have a major project coming up that will require lots of overtime, you’re putting your team in danger of burning out. Hiring skilled contractors and consultants to assist on projects ensures that the workload is manageable, and helps the project stay on target.
A Strategic Staffing Partner Can Help Eliminate Burnout
If you are ready to support your staff through the strategic use of tech contractors and consultants, reach out the award-winning recruiting team at Talon today. We can connect you with exceptional talent who can help your core team achieve its goals without burning out.