Why is visual balance important for any user interface?
Ask a designer and you’ll hear that interface needs balance to serve its users. The visual weight of different design elements reveals the hierarchy and composition of menus and content. Break the balance and the users won’t find or won’t be able to do important actions.
Like a complex interface, your team implements a process that solves a customer’s problems using tools and actions. Keeping your team in balance ensures they can deliver value to your customers and grow your business.
Everyone’s daily work/life balance affects the whole team
Team balance is a result of the internal organization, processes and people roles. From an individual perspective, each member’s work/life balance can affect the team. You need to understand whether each member has enough time for their daily activities: sleep and rest, eat, work and learn, spend time with family and friends.
- How everyone is spending their time in the office?
- Is the team stable, improving or feeling good?
- Is someone tired of long commutes or working too many hours?
- Are they feeling less and less motivated?
Answering these questions helps you understand your current team balance and take steps to improve it.
Balance allows a team to deliver a reliable, and quality service
Your team is building and delivering a valued product, bought by real customers. Your team members are also real people, the ones showing up, doing the work, and having families and lives outside work. Taking care of each one is taking care of your team and your business.
Delivering a reliable service requires a strong product, a good support channel, and a team producing quality work. You need a team capable of learning, adapting, taking on challenges and handling all the work. To do this, the team needs energy and a stable environment. For each member, this means enough time to rest and energize physically and mentally.
How to bring balance back for your team
Analyze the situation for each person on your team, without overstepping their privacy. Personal work/life balance can be estimated by looking at how someone’s spending their days in the office, on average. Start with the working hours, lunch and other breaks, and estimate their commute duration.
Work with your human resources, assistant manager or team leader. Get some estimates for these activities and make some calculations. If everyone is using too much time to get to work, they will have to cut back from their private life, from sleep or proper lunch-time. And that will show in time in their work or will wear them off and eventually burn them out or make them leave the team.
Check and adjust your team’s balance when doing office changes
Changes like relocating your offices have a direct impact on the time people spend getting to work every day. This impacts their private lives and the actual time they can work. Instead of guessing how much time your colleagues spend commuting, ask everyone to get an average.
For bigger, remote teams, or when you have multiple teams, ask each team leader to do the calculations for you. You can also use our online calculator to enter all addresses and use real data to understand how your office location affects your team.
Isn’t work/life balance a private matter, and not a team issue?
Of course, the way we spend our time every day is our private matter. But work-related decisions make a big impact on our lives. Having to spend 30 more minutes going to work makes you lose 1 hour from doing something else. Each day. It’s in the team’s interest to try to estimate and limit the impact some decisions have on each member.
Traffic and personal working hours are critical for big cities
Working in a big city has its advantages, but also disadvantages mostly related to stress and longer commutes. When your company is located in or near a big city you need to take into account the commute duration, not only the distance. Actual traffic can be estimated too, using online mapping solutions.
“Yay! Nicer restaurants!”, but “OMG, the traffic!”
Your company decided to relocate and find a new office. Compared to the previous one, you have a bigger space and access to some very nice restaurants. The problem is most of the people spend 10 to 30 minutes more going to the office every day. So is this relocation good or bad for the team?
Commute duration will make some of your colleagues adjust their working hours if they can. Otherwise, they would have to spend less time with their families or they will sleep less. Using estimated traffic to calculate predicted commute duration for each team member gives you a more accurate commute duration for the whole team.
Team balance is strongly affected by everyone’s work/life balance
To deliver a reliable and quality service a team needs a stable and calm environment. How to bring your team back to balance? Check and adjust when doing office changes with your team in mind.
Get real and prepare your office relocation not only on the business side but also on the people’s side. Calculate commutes to the new offices, check available transportation, parking, restaurants and make sure your team will be happy in the new location.
What you can do today is to think about your team balance. Find methods to limit the impact your business decisions have on your colleagues’ private lives.
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