In virtual workspaces, the boundaries that separate work and non-work domains are not as clearly defined, making it difficult for workers – especially in white-dominant work cultures – to segment their activities. Celebrating balance mitigates challenges of urgency in remote work.
USE THIS IN ORDER TO…
Counter the tendency for employees to work beyond their expected 40-hour workweek and reach burnout more easily.
Avoid the tendency for organizations to reduce work-life balance with an emphasis on “quantity over quality” and a false “sense of urgency.”
Find ways to encourage more authenticity in the workplace.
Set a clear expectation for what a full workweek looks like (i.e., 40 hours) and check in regularly to see how team members are doing.
Reinforce that expectation of balance by having supervisors model healthy work practices and expectations of colleagues.
Make sure that employees can be truly unplugged when they want to be (i.e., evenings, weekends, time off).
Publicly celebrate those who maintain a healthy work-life balance.
CONSIDERATIONS FOR REMOTE IMPLEMENTATION
Don’t email or message teammates outside of predictable, “scheduled” hours, or provide context for exceptions. On platforms like Slack, use the notification settings to communicate to others when you are offline.
Encourage the use of video during remote meetings to discourage multitasking and encourage deeper engagement from meeting participants.
Create a communication channel that celebrates balance using Slack or other chat platforms. Invite people to bring their whole selves to work by sharing about their weekend activities, families and friends, and how they unwind with photographs and videos.
Celebrate personal and professional accomplishments as a team during whip-around check-ins at the top of the meeting agenda.
ARTIFACTS & RESOURCES
“Balance begins with our own self-care. You cannot serve others unless you are adequately nourished–mind, body, and soul.”
– Orissa Thompson, Illustrative Mathematics