Many people dream of owning their own business, however small it may be. But starting and growing a small business is no easy feat and requires years of dedication and hard work. Although this sentiment has some truth, especially when a business is in its infancy, small business owners don’t have to overwork themselves in the name of success. This is one of the common reasons small businesses fail because, as we will see, a lack of work-life balance for small business owners can lead to lost opportunities, losing valuable employees, and, eventually, a business failure. So, how does work-life balance for small business owners work? And how can small business employees achieve work-life balance? These are the exact questions we will try to answer in this Atwork blog post.
Why is Work-Life Balance Important for Small Businesses?
To understand the importance of work-life balance, we must remind ourselves why we work. In addition to financial reasons and having money to buy the things we need and want, working can play a crucial role in our happiness and sense of fulfillment.
Working can provide a purpose to our lives and a way to change and affect the world around us. But this doesn’t mean that work should be our whole life. We still need to socialize, live through new experiences, learn new things, and much more. Additionally, too much work can hinder the work itself.
A lack of work-life balance for small business owners, and everybody for that matter, leads to burnout. The World Health Organization has identified burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” in which unmanaged work stress results in negative feelings towards a job, reduced efficiency, and exhaustion. Since burnout stems from a lack of balance between work and life, it affects them both. If not controlled, burnout can hinder happiness, personal and professional relationships, performance, and decision-making.
Burnout can lead to making wrong decisions at work, hurting productivity and reducing profits. Making wrong decisions can increase the chance of losing good opportunities. Losing multiple opportunities and making numerous bad decisions results in a business failing.
According to Microsoft’s 2022 survey, more than half of employees prioritize their well-being over work. Burnout and a lack of work-life balance for small business owners also manifest in the workspace, so retaining good employees becomes harder.
Therefore, work-life balance is not just for you and your employees’ well-being; it’s also about the success of your business.
If you are an employee here is some tips for you:
Do you have small business here is some challenges and knowledge based solution for you:
Challenges of Work-Life Balance for Small Business Owners
There are many obstacles to achieving work-life balance for small business owners. You can see four of the most common ones down below:
Time LimitationSmall business owners are often stuck between an endless cycle of responsibilities and things that must be done. From supervising employees, answering their questions, and helping them solve problems to planning for the future and making tough financial decisions, business owners can always find something to do. This leaves almost no room for personal activities and can turn resting into a luxury.
Monetary BurdensAs a small business owner, you might find yourself working and planning for long hours to ensure the financial stability of your business. This problem is worsened in the early days of a business. For example, instead of starting your work at 9 am, like employees, business owners might have to start at 7, and then, instead of finishing at 5 or 6 pm, they might need to work until 10 pm or even later.
Furthermore, many business owners take loans to start or expand their business. Paying these loans back in time to avoid hefty fines can be a burden. Add the routine costs of rent, utilities, and employee salaries, and you will have the perfect formula for constant pressure and stress.
No Clear BoundariesWith the growth of technology, setting clear boundaries between work and life has become harder. Imagine you’re in the business of installing wallpaper: Your customers can always message or call you even when you’re not at work and don’t even want to work. Since every customer matters, not answering them is a tough ask.
Lack of DelegationSmall business owners find it harder to delegate most tasks to their employees because many see their business as their children and deeply care about them. They cannot even fathom the idea of the related tasks not being done perfectly.
Strategies for Maintaining Work-Life Balance as a Small Business Owner
As we can see, there are numerous hurdles to balancing work and life for a small business owner. Although some of the common tips for creating a work-life balance work for small business owners, most of them cannot meet the needs of such people. Therefore, we have gathered a list of strategies that business owners can use to balance work and life for themselves and their employees.
1-Change your mindset.
3-Recognize that the scales will tip.
4-Learn ways to scope with stress.
6-Stop being perfectionist.
7-Set clear boundaries.
8-Don’t skimp on sleep.
Leave Work at a Reasonable HourJust because you own a business doesn’t mean you can’t have defined working hours. Establish clear working hours for yourself and avoid staying for long hours at work. Even if your working hours are longer than your employees, having a clear start and finish time can help you avoid overworking.
Take Breaks During WorkDon’t just sit behind the desk and work for hours. Managing work-life balance for employees needs energy. Taking breaks during work will keep you energized and sharp throughout the day and will avoid the trapped feeling that comes with working for long hours. Take a walk during your breaks, chat with your employees about non-work matters, or make a coffee for yourself. Taking a break can also make solving complex problems easier, as your brain will regain energy and sharpness.
Just Say ‘No’ to Excessive WorkTaking on multiple customer orders and launching various projects can be tempting, but this is not how you achieve work-life balance as a small business owner. Practice saying no to such temptations. This helps you attain work-life balance, and your employees will also thank you for not overworking them to their limits.
Schedule Time for FunAs you make articulate plans for the growth of your business, devote some time to fun activities. From reading a romantic novel to playing video games and going out on picnics, choose something that makes you forget about work and its worries.
Create a To-Do ListDon’t just rely on your memory to remember what to do when. Doing this puts more strain on your brain and makes it harder to finish a day’s work on time, incentivizing you to work longer hours. Instead, practice making to-do lists and checking them off throughout the day. To-do lists help you keep things organized while checking things off of them creates a sense of accomplishment and progress. Alongside its other features and tools, which we’ll get to shortly, you can also use Atwork to create to-do lists. Using Atwork to create to-do lists allows sharing them with your employees or other managers and simplifies the collaboration process. You can get your free trial to start your work-life balance journey with Atwork.
Leave Work at WorkSet clear boundaries between work and personal time. When you leave your workplace, you should all of the worries and problems there and go home and relax. Of course, you can still discuss your work-related concerns or issues with your friends or others but don’t overdo it.
Make Time for Yourself, Not Just FamilyAlthough family is a big part of our personal life, they are not all of it, and you shouldn’t be torn between dealing with work issues and family issues all the time. In addition to devoting time to your family and work, set aside some alone time. You can try turning your phone off and going for a short walk or enjoying a cup of coffee with your favorite podcast.
Do Periodic Check-insSet clear goals for how much time you want to spend on work and how much time you want to spend on your personal life. From time to time, check how much time you spend on each of them and readjust your behavior or plans. This feature is also available on Atwork work management software, and both you and your employees can use it simultaneously to boost your work-life balance.
Delegate TasksWhenever possible, delegate some of your work to your employees. After all, they are there to help you grow your business, so delegate non-mission critical tasks to them. To be more comfortable doing this, try to hire people you can trust.
Use Digital ToolsWe live in the technology era; most things can be automated or done using digital tools. From employee attendance to following up with projects and doing finances, you can delegate parts of your daily and even monthly tasks to a work management software.
Atwork is software that helps you and your employees achieve work-life balance. Atwork offers a smart calendar, document-sharing service, and employee attendance service that can be connected to their payroll, eliminating the need to calculate and pay their salaries manually.