Our work-life balance programs help your team manage time, stress, devices, distractions, and navigate the work-life divide. Whether the challenge is overwhelm, work engagement, change, low work-life survey scores, or high stress or burnout, work-life leader and author Joe Robinson, seen on CNN and Today, supports your talent with the latest research tools to help them work more effectively and feel valued.
Employees who feel they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don't, reports the Corporate Executive Board. That extra effort is the definition of employee engagement and the dividend of great morale.
See Video: Joe Robinson talks about the reflex habits that get in the way of effective performance and a balanced approach to work and life. The more you check email, the more you have to check it. Excess interruptions erode impulse control, blow up working memory, and lead to Attention Deficit Trait.
See Video: Joe Robinson explains the keys to smarter work and a better work-life. He has appeared in Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Business Insider, and has led programs for organizations from IBM to Nestle, Kellogg's, LEGO, the Reserve Bank of India, the National Council for Behavioral Health, McDonald's, New York City Public Health, and Anheuser-Busch.
There's an expression in the sailing world: "We can't control the wind, but we can adjust the sails." It's a perfect metaphor for the workplace. We all have a job we have to do. We can't change that.
But how we do that job is where we can build in the adjustments and flexibility that help us manage our responsibilities and restore control to an unbounded world. We can adjust the sails. That’s what our work-life programs do, guide your team through the adjustments that make them more effective and able to avoid the behaviors that drive stress and work-life conflict.
Work-life balance is a series of adjustments to work and life that allow people to feel their responsibilities on both sides of the work-life hyphen are under control. When you are at work, you can be 100% there, and when at home, you can devote full attention to that side.
We show your team how to build a better work-life fit with proactive self-management skills that help them navigate competing demands, be more productive, and activate the best life.
Our interactive work-life balance training and keynotes guide your team with the latest science and best practices to a more productive work style, from time management, to stress management, attention management, device management, interruption management, refueling and wellness strategies, resilience skills, and keys to a thriving life outside the office.
“We searched long and hard to find the right trainer. We didn't want airy-fairy but something practical to help us with the uncertainties ahead. Joe Robinson was the best choice we could have made."
“Joe Robinson's work-life balance training was extremely valuable to our supervisory staff. I'd recommend the training for any organization trying to find the right balance between high performance and employee engagement.”
“Joe was an inspiration! The sessions with Joe were fun and interactive. He gave us valuable tools to carry forward."
"Joe presented to our top sales group and our executive team on a recent awards trip. The work-life balance presentation provided takeaways that the group put right to work. We had great feedback from the team. They thoroughly enjoyed his presentation. Do yourself a favor and check Joe out! It is well worth it!"
"Joe’s productivity and work-life balance training for our leadership team
"Joe's training was ideal—and perfectly timed for our needs and workforce. The feedback from managers was universally positive!"
“Your talk included useful and important information presented clearly and cleverly, along with a nice touch of audience engagement. The audience learned something and enjoyed the experience. After almost 40 years of teaching and speaking at professional conferences I know very few people can do this effectively. You can and did!"
“Our staff really enjoyed Joe's presentation—lots of positive feedback. You have a great message and tips that can benefit all of us. I thought multitasking was a good thing. Not anymore!"
“Thank you for spending the week with us and making an impact for our people and our company. I've heard nothing but very positive comments and feel that your message will make a difference in all our lives."
“Joe presented at our annual conference, speaking to board members, senior leadership, and clinicians. Members are still talking about his presentation on work-life balance. Talk about speaking the truth. It was like being in church with all the 'Amen's' and 'YESes.' Joe is an inspiration, and we have all committed to making personal changes after his show!"
“Joe Robinson is a true inspiration."
When demands aren’t managed, they manage your team and organization. They steal attention, drive crisis mentality, increase absenteeism and retention problems, health costs go up and job satisfaction goes down. Our work-life training programs give your employees the tools to work smarter and increase effectiveness.
There are a host of benefits for the bottom-line when the staff feels they have tools to manage overwhelm, stress, and information overload. As Joe Robinson’s article on the Top 5 Arguments for Work-Life Balance and the infographic at right detail, the benefits come in increased productivity, profits, retention, and engagement.
Employees satisfied with their work-life benefits are three times more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs (MetLife).
1. Flexibility programs
2. Self-management and time management programs
Work-life balance programs take two basic approaches — policies that provide employees more flexibility on schedules and location, and self-management programs that reduce stress and increase work effectiveness and satisfaction on the job and off.
Trying to juggle work and life responsibilities creates a time squeeze for employees, one that flex policies can help alleviate. Flex programs give employees the ability to navigate both realms better with adjustments to schedules and offices.
Research shows employees feel they can manage workload and home responsibilities better when they have the ability to adjust their schedules to pick up a child early from school, or work from home a couple days a week. The perception of more control reduces stress.
Studies show that remote employees actually work more hours from home (Fried, Boston College), but the time crunch isn’t as intense because they can accommodate their lives better. This increases job and life satisfaction, which is one of the reasons why 57% of companies offer some form of flexible schedule options for their employees (Society for Human Resource Management). Satisfied employees are more engaged.
The main work-life balance flex initiatives are:
Flex Time. This is a popular option for parents. Some employees may want to start work later so they can take their kids to school, or earlier, so they can pick them up after school, see a class performance, or employees may just want to avoid peak commute hours.
Remote Work. In a digital world more organizations are turning to telework from home at varying frequencies. It’s ideal for companies whose teams are spread around the country or globe, for people with long commutes, and to signal trust to employees.
Compressed Workweek. Some organizations offer their employees an option to get their allotted work done in a shorter time span. A standard program allows employees who work 35-40 hours per week to do 10-hour days for four days a week, instead of eight-hour days over five days. The extra day off goes a long way to bumping up life balance.
Reduced Workweek. This flex option allows employees to work a reduced schedule of hours but still get benefits, and is particularly helpful for new parents.
Work Sharing. Two heads are better than one in this program. Employees who would like to work less but the job requires 40 hours or more per week can divvy up the job with another person, each of them working 20 hours while the position is being fully staffed. Parents with young children are prime for this approach.
The science tells us that attention is our chief productivity tool, our chief life tool, and our chief happiness tool. The more of it we have, the less stress, the more we are engaged in what we’re doing, like what we’re doing, and get it done faster.
Yet devices, distractions, and unmanaged demands are shredding attention today and, as a result, driving work-life imbalance and conflict. Without good time management, information management, interruption management, and stress management, strain and distraction drive stress and overwhelm even for those with flexible schedules. It leads to tasks having to be done over again, reduced productivity, more effort to get the same amount of work done, and hours of catching up on work at home or on the weekend.
Our approach to work-life balance is to increase focus and engagement by giving employees the tools to manage demands, reactions, minds, and bottlenecks and prevent shrinking attention spans.
Employees get proactive self-management skills that let them make critical adjustments to how they do their tasks and how they organize life outside the job to reduce stress and maximize attention and engagement. Here are some of the ways the program increases boosts work-life balance and job satisfaction:
1. Do a Work-Life Balance Survey.
The right work-life balance survey can surface issues driving work-life conflict and identify the areas that need to be improved. Our How to Do a Work-Life Balance Survey Ebook serves as a road map to the hot buttons and pressure points that are undermining work-life balance. This survey serves as a starting point for a survey to be done after the work-life program to get metrics on the success of the program.
2. Manage demands, pressure, and pace.
Stress blows up attention and undermines intellect, leading to mistakes, conflict with others, and crisis mentality, not to mention absenteeism, medical bills, and loss of top talent. Turn off the false danger signal of stress and the stress stops in four minutes.
3. Set boundaries on an unbounded world.
Research at Harvard and elsewhere shows that boundaries are a success tool. Reining in information overload and mechanical momentum help restore order to the workload and improve life outside the job.
4. Increase time management skills.
Everything is urgent when we don’t stop to think about what is urgent and what isn’t. Separating the urgent from the non-urgent and prioritizing tasks is key to unfrazzled pulse rates and effective workflow.
5. Improve time estimation and deadline management.
Employees can avoid missed deadlines and the stress that comes with them when they know how long each of their tasks takes and make sure their bandwidth can manage it.
6. Control email and information overload.
Every email results in six emails, three going and three coming back, since no one knows when the conversation is over. Employees can get control over email overload with information overload strategies vetted by the science.
7. Cut down on interruptions.
Lack of impulse control and crisis mentality drive excess interruptions. Interruptions blow up working memory, triple the risk of errors, and make everything you do seem harder than it is. When employees cut interruptions, productivity and job satisfaction increase.
8. Manage the self-infliction of multitasking.
Multitasking is a myth. Employees can’t do two thinking tasks at the same time. When they get control over this habit, they build attention and reduce mistakes and strain for brain neurons not built for doing two cognitive tasks at once.
9. Increase self-regulation and impulse control.
The more you check email, the more you have to check it. Interruptions and stress erode impulse control and discipline to stay on task. Employees can get willpower back when they build up their self-regulation and attention resources.
10. Refuel and recharge brains and bodies.
Humans are energy machines. After burning up energetic resources over the course of the day, we have to recharge like our smartphones. Employees get strategies on how to refuel during the day, after work, and in their leisure time.
11. Get the home front and family organized.
Employees can carve out more time for kids, partners, and schnauzers, when they have plans to manage chores, childcare, and quality time with each other.
12. Get more sleep.
One of the best ways to improve attention is to get more sleep. Through the latest science we learn the best and worst strategies for getting sufficient shuteye to bring full attention to the tasks at hand.
13. Put life on the calendar.
We have time for life, say researchers. It’s just not organized. We help employees identify the open slots and pursuits to indulge in. They also learn the difference between work and life skills to put the most gratifying life on the calendar.
14. Measure work-life balance improvements.
After the program employees can do a sustainment follow-up program and a survey to quantify the benefits of the program.
We provide proven strategies vetted by the research to solve challenges for both staff and management. Visit our Work-Life Balance Research page to learn more or check out Joe Robinson's article, "The Scientific Connection Between Work-Life Balance, Productivity, and Engagement."
We also provide you with a system to measure progress from the program and create process improvements. Seeing tangible gains is a big leverage point for engagement.
SEE VIDEO: Attendees at Joe Robinson's Work Smarter, Live Better program talk about how his strategies helped them with stress management and work-life balance.
It's very easy to get caught up in a work style that makes us act before we think, reacting to devices and others all day. It's a pattern that leads to doing more than we can do well, mistakes, stress, burnout, and reduced productivity.
There's a more productive way to work: managing demands, instead of having them manage us. This inspirational and interactive training shows your team how to do that, by using the latest research and best practices to make key adjustments to how they do their tasks and respond to stress, time frenzy, and reflex behaviors.
Our work-life balance training course equips your team with an array of self-management tools to manage interruptions and email overload, improve time management and prioritization, increase focus, reframe stress, refuel energy, and upgrade quality of life.
They also get strategies to navigate the work-life divide and activate a fulfilling life outside the office, shown to increase attention and success on the job.
Give your team the best tools science has to offer, and big dividends in performance, retention, engagement, and improved work-life survey scores follow.
The best way to learn anything is by doing. Our work-life balance programs put an emphasis on the interactive side of things. The usual reaction is like the one we got from a manager with the Florida Dept. of Children and Families, "Was that really three hours? We were doing so many things, the time flew by."
A group multitasking exercise from the University of Michigan's David Meyer, one of the nation's top attention experts, illustrates to everyone in 10 seconds how multitasking high-cognitive tasks can't be done. We get a solution to cut stress and increase focus.
The main dimension of employee engagement is energy or vigor. The brain fatigues well before the body, so we have to keep it recharged on a regular basis just like our smartphones to keep our chief productivity tool, attention, charged and ready.
Your team learns how to do that and bolster the self-regulation system key to focus, discipline, and impulse control. The goal is more top-down attention, which drives concentration and results.
Life satisfaction goes a long way toward job satisfaction. They are a team. Life is the engine of productivity, vitality, focus, and the attitude that we bring to the job.
Our work-life balance programs help your team recharge vitality during the day, when they get home, and on the weekends. Recovery strategies outside the office reduce stress and help us return to work the next morning minus strain and fatigue — and with a more positive attitude, studies show (see Joe Robinson's article, "The Science of Work Recovery").
Your team learns how to activate the fullest life outside work, unlocking experiences that fuel satisfaction with a skill-set that is opposite of what's needed at the office. They find out how to initiate quality life experiences, and get family, friends, significant others, and themselves on the calendar.
We can’t do anything about 60% of our potential happiness, which is due to genetic or circumstantial factors, but we can control the other 40%, and your team learns how. This inspirational program gives your group tools to dramatically increase their life satisfaction, which shows up in a more positive spirit on the job.