Everyone in the world has seen the “BBC Dad” video. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop what you are doing, and WATCH IT NOW.
What strikes many people is the relatability of this dad. Many of us have found ourselves working at home for any number of reasons: sick child, waiting for the appliance repair guy in his 3-hour window, or you’re already home for the day when something comes up back at work. Then there are the millions of us who work from home every day as an entrepreneur or just ‘cause we’re lucky.
We’ve all been there.
After becoming a worldwide sensation, Robert Kelley gave an interview and explained that he immediately called the BBC, expecting to be told he would never give another interview.
BBC responded not by firing him but rather by asking him for permission to post the clip, which, in Kelley’s words, “(got) weird” and made him famous.
Why was Kelley’s first instinct that he would be let go as a TV analyst?
I’ll give you that most of us doing video conferencing or other work tasks at home are broadcasting only to a few colleagues–not millions of viewers.
But it got me thinking, am I the kind of leader who my employees would fear in that kind of situation, or do I authentically embrace work-life harmony?
Do you promote work-life harmony? Would your employee be afraid to call you and tell you his son’s school canceled for the rest of the week due to flu and you need to work from home?
Work-life balance is so 2000s. It suggests work and life are not intertwined and doesn’t reflect our modern reality of smartphones, international Skype calls and heavier workloads.
We need to promote work-life harmony–integrating work and life harmoniously in a supportive fashion.
Here are 8 Steps to Promote Work-Life Harmony and to be the Boss Employees Trust. Think of it as a S.P.E.C.I.F.I.C. plan to do so.
1. Simplification: Cut down on heavier workloads through simplification. Encourage employees to hold meetings in half the time. Meetings can still be fun but don’t have to be off-track. Suggest policies such as “No Meeting Friday,” to-don’t lists and re-application processes–reapplying what’s already worked without creating new tasks.
2. Productivity self-audits: This process requires a self-critical lens and watchful eye to pinpoint unproductive behaviors that drain time and energy–and then lose them.
3. Energy renewing activities: Encourage participation in activities that will restore people’s energy and prevent that drained feeling at the end of the day. Wellness programs, snack stations or off-site bowling parties are a few ways to get the team energized. Know what at work sucks your energy and assume it sucks the life out of your employees, too. When possible, drain those draining activities.
4. Choices: Help them identify their purposes and desired legacies, then encourage them to prioritize what they spend their time on, using the purpose and desired legacy for guidance.
5. In-touch with other’s situations: Get in tune with what might be hindering or helping work-life harmony for your employees. But be prepared to make reasonable adjustments in requirements and expectations to help alleviate their pain.
6. Flexibility: Aim for flexibility while keeping in mind the need to also promote a sense of community and availability (for employees to work from anywhere). The best way to promote flexibility for your employees is to model it with your own schedule.
7. Involve others: Bravely go public with your goal to promote work-life harmony and enlist all the help possible. Co-workers should avoid meetings starting at the beginning or end of the day, and should stick to the original time commitment.
8. Commit: To succeed in promoting real work-life harmony requires a strong commitment. Are you ready to make it?
This article was published by Scott Mautz and Natalie Hastings
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