Today’s guest blogger is Julie Parsons, owner of Premium Consulting. The firm provides recruitment solutions across industries such as transport, distribution, supply chain, engineering, manufacturing, food industry and operations/technical roles. Although Brisbane based, most recruitment involves regional and national roles, with some international work in Indonesia, Asia and Europe. Julie formerly served on the NPAworldwide Board of Directors.
Starting and running a small business takes guts. It also takes a lot of hard work and long hours.
In the beginning, small business owners wear a lot of hats and put in very long days. Are you now caught in an endless cycle of long hours and moving from one project and task to the next with limited time off? Does switching off and taking a holiday seem like an impossible dream, you may think, “I don’t have time?”
Why work-life balance matters
The benefits of work-life balance start with having more hours in the day to spend outside the office, enjoying friends, family, hobbies, community work and free time, but that’s only the beginning of the advantages: Work-life balance is healthier and prevents burnout.
Consider a shorter workday
Experience demonstrates that shorter days can increase productivity. Just because you’re at your desk for eight hours doesn’t mean you’re being productive. Even the best employees probably only accomplish two to three hours of actual work. The five-hour day is about working smartly and managing your time and tasks efficiently over a shorter day. Small business owners can use some of the saved hours purely for strategic planning.
Automate and outsource
Let technology work for you. Use the latest tools; if you don’t know what they are, find someone who does. You don’t need an assistant next to you, find one online and pay them for the tasks you need. You can’t be an expert at everything.
Technology in the cloud
Move your data to the cloud. If you’ve used Dropbox to save a photo you took, you’ve already moved data to the cloud. Is your small business making the most of the cloud? Accounting, design, CRM, social media and other tools—these are all available in the cloud. The cloud is a fast-changing technology that can make your company more agile and you only pay for what you need.
Vacations, or work while traveling
When you see just how much can be done in less time than ever before, you should book a trip; you may need one. Most small business owners have a tough time taking time off in spite of the benefits to health, productivity, and possibly profit.
With the right technology and connectivity you can work remotely, and you should empower and reward your staff to manage the business while you’re away. You are one call or click away if needed.
As you implement these tips, you can streamline your business while creating a healthier, happier, and more productive work environment for you and your staff.