Most people respond to increased demands in their day to day jobs by extending their working hours. Increased hours take a toll physically, mentally and emotionally.

Many people talk about being busy but being too busy and working extended hours to manage workload can result in:

• lower attention spans
• a higher chance of error
• burn out
• fatigue
• increased stress levels
• a higher staff turnover

As an employer, it is your duty to help your employees manage workload and ensure they maintain a work-life balance. Here are 5 things you can do to help:

 

1. Figure out and review your team’s workload

Without knowing what projects and deadlines your team face it’s hard to help them manage their workload.

To figure out your team’s workload you will need to:
• Compile a list of projects
• Determine the type of project and its deadlines
• Break down each project by task and see who is working is responsible for each task

Figuring out each team members workload and capacity means you can better distribute work.

 

2. Encourage open dialogue

Your team should feel comfortable to speak to you. Try creating an ‘open door’ culture, where all levels of staff feel comfortable to openly communicate with one another and you.

If your staff feel overwhelmed and find you unapproachable, they are not going to be as productive as you need them to be.

 

3. Introduce project management systems

Online systems such as Basecamp, can help your team better manage projects. The system allows team members to upload documents, create to-do lists and sends out automated reminders of when tasks are due. The system also allows you to monitor what has and hasn’t been completed.

 

4. Discourage multi-tasking

Many view multitasking as a necessity in the face of all the demands they juggle, but it actually undermines productivity. Distractions are costly.

A temporary shift in attention from one task to another – stopping to answer an e-mail or take a phone call, increases the amount of time necessary to finish the primary task. This is known as “switching time”.

 

5. Encourage personal well-being

You can’t police the well-being of your team, but you can educate them. Provide your team with stress management and well-being seminars. If you have space you could also create a ‘work-free’ area in your office, this should be a space your team can go to unwind. Make the space vibrant to help energise your team

You can also provide your team with employee benefits to help with personal well-being. For example, offer discounted gym memberships.

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