When you look around the office you will often see those in senior management roles being first in and last out. You rarely will get an OOO email from them. These are the people who lead critical departments and teams who are likely responsible for revenue and product development.
Employees look to their managers to set the pace. They will model the behavior thinking that is what they need to do to advance or be seen in a good light. Normally I’m an advocate for this type of mirroring but when it comes to work-life balance the effects can hinder yourself and the team.4 reasons a manager needs to maintain a work-life balance:
You lose your effectiveness
Your patience wears thin. You lose the ability to remove your blinders. You start to think more short-term rather than long-term. You become easily irritated and lash out. Morale starts to die and your employees start looking forward to the days that you WON’T be in the office.
Your employees feel guilty or required to follow suit
This is probably the most damaging. When you email your team 24/7 including when you are on vacation they never get a reprieve from you. They are inclined to think they have to respond and stay online in case you ask for something. Their attempt at keeping up with you will cause their performance to dip. This domino effect starts to erode the performance of everything you are responsible for.
You home life suffers
You miss your children growing up. You miss their extracurricular actives. You miss that winning shot or their solo in the choir. Those events can’t be repeated. And maybe not today but 10 years down the road you will have to live with the regret.
Creativity and enthusiasm erodes
When you are always connected and online you aren’t able to come up with fresh and innovative solutions to the daily challenges that pop up. This creates delays in moving yourself and your team forward. I would also argue that at some point you move backward. You enthusiasm and zest start to diminish which cripples your ability to inspire your team to push forward.
What strikes me most about this is that as you move up the ranks or in your tenure with a company you get more vacation time. At the same time, as you move up the ranks or in your tenure you start taking less of it. Don’t miss out on your family’s growth to watch your career grow. Don’t let go of your hobbies and other things that bring you great joy and inspiration. Don’t skip your time off and neglect recharging your batteries.
It will never be a good time to take time off but you have to force yourself to do it.
More Actionable Advice:
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