Actions speak louder than words. These sounds make a more powerful echo when a spoken by a leader. Leadership is a word we speak of often, but it can look different for each team. One thing is certain, though. If you look at your leader, you should be able to see similarities amongst their team members.

Does your team reflect your style as a work-life balance leader?

Leaders set the tone — good or bad. There is an immense amount of pressure to lead well and ultimately be great stewards of influence. If there is one way supervisors can lead the way in today’s remote business settings, it is through modelling healthy work-life balance.

If you are not getting it right, business is wrong. Remember: when people are feeling down because they feel overworked, productivity is down, too. Stressed employees are more likely to call in sick. Disengaged or depressed colleagues may have a difficult time connecting with your mission.

What can you do instead? Create a culture in your office that puts balance as an essential part of your business. For example, help offset the costs of benefits like a gym membership. It shouldn’t be a rarity or available to certain people or on certain occasions. Today, right now, you can change the way you lead. You can set a tone that encourages work-life balance.

Here is how you can get started:


If your eyes are only paying attention to the screen, you may not be able to notice the lack of smiles or even engagement from your employees. Spend some time observing your employees to see how they are doing. While you may be able to spot work performance, you may also discover something more. Perhaps an employee seems sad everyday. Another employee may seem disengaged or burnt out.


“I need a vacation” or “I should have taken off from work today” may be red flags for you as leaders. It is not a concern that your employees do not want to be online or in the office. Instead, the concern is they do not feel as though they can take a break — short or long — to care for their physical, emotional, or mental health. If you are listening, you may learn more about your employees and how you can meet them where they are as they try to find success inside and outside of the office.


Now that you have watched and listened, it’s time to make a move. In this case, it may be up to you (and only you) to take the first steps. It’s time to put your observations into action. Perhaps you create an office policy that discourages communication about work after regular business hours. Another one could be publicly announcing your vacation and encouraging others to take off roughly the same amount of time.

When you are ready to move as a leader and set the tone, it can be easy to get caught up on where to start. Remember the key parts of work-life balance: physical, emotional, and mental health priorities.

Here are some examples of how to be a work-life balance leader:


  • Does your team know that you attend a workout class after work during the week? Sharing these details about how you prioritize your physical health reminds people that you are human, too. Like your team, you also care about staying healthy and relieving stress.
  • Have you shared the health benefits of working from home once or twice a week with your team? Lead by example and share how you eat healthy meals at home for lunch.
  • Would your team believe how often you get up and take walks during your remote days? Stress the benefits of enjoying fresh air during the workday.


  • When was the last time you took off to care for yourself during a time of grief or sadness? Show your team that you value their emotional well-being, too. Allow them time to grieve the loss of loved ones in a way that keeps them healthy and whole.
  • How do you respond to personal challenges with your team of employees? Lead the way by creating flexible working opportunities. Whether a team member needs to visit a therapist or a family friend, make room for improvement.
  • Does your team know you have feelings? Lead with compassion and empathy. If you are moved by an issue or a story, remind your team that you have feelings, too. Support their emotional development by showing them you are far from a robot.


  • Have you talked with your team about the pitfalls of working remotely? Would they know how quickly it can impact mental health? You can lead the way for healthiness by providing helpful tips.
  • Does your team think twice about communicating the need to take a day off for rest — physical or mental? If you have never done the same, your team may not know this option exists.
  • Are resources easy to access in your office if someone needs help? From anxiety to depression, create a culture that aims to help and not harm.

Work-life balance in a remote setting can feel challenging because work and life seem to blur. A great leader can empower their team to set clear boundaries, such as taking breaks or disconnecting after work.

Then, here comes the best part: celebration.

When employees feel seen, heard, and valued at work, it spills over into how they connect with their work and ultimately the company’s mission. Winning inside the office — and at home — plays a big role. A boost in happiness yields a boost in your business.

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