6 Essential Work-Life Balance Tips for Trades Industry Workers to Avoid Burnout

Work-life balance in the trades industry can be difficult to manage. But it’s not just a buzzword, it's a crucial aspect of a healthy and productive life.

According to Safe Work Australia, the average time people take off for mental health reasons has increased significantly, jumping from 18.8 working weeks in 2015-16 to 30.7 working weeks in 2019-20. 

Whether you’re a trade business owner, manager of a team, or just working in the office, there is the constant pressure to meet deadlines, manage projects, and maintain client relationships. 

Managing work-life balance in the trades industry

Here at Groundplan, we work with tradies and business owners every day. We know that finding that sweet spot between work and play is crucial to avoid burnout, keep your sanity intact, and to keep your businesses thriving. Here are some effective tips for people working in the trades industry to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

1. Set clear boundaries

One of the most effective ways to maintain work-life balance is by setting clear boundaries between work and personal time. Establish specific working hours and stick to them. Communicate these boundaries to your clients and employees, so they understand when you are available for work-related matters. 

2. Delegate tasks

If you’re the manager of a team, it's tempting to take on all responsibilities yourself. However, delegation is key to avoiding burnout. Trust your team with tasks and empower them to take ownership. By delegating, you can focus on strategic aspects of your business while ensuring that day-to-day operations run smoothly. 

This not only lightens your workload but also promotes a collaborative work environment. For example, if you’re juggling handling quotes, crunching the numbers, ordering materials and supplies, it may be time to take some of the load off your shoulders.

Tradespeople reviewing construction blueprints

Once you have Groundplan set up, you can even outsource your estimating to a third party, which can free up hours of time that can be spent elsewhere on your business.

3. Network with other professionals

It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you’ve put so much time and effort into a long-term project. Attending trade shows and interacting with other tradies and industry leaders offers more than just a chance to scope out the latest tools and techniques; it's a vital opportunity to connect with peers, share experiences, and gain fresh perspectives. 

Tradespeople networking at tradeshow event

4. Prioritise your well being

Taking care of your physical and mental health is a huge part of leading a balanced and fulfilling life. Make sure you're exercising or hitting the gym regularly, focusing on getting a good night's rest every evening, and eating a balanced diet. Being a tradie is no easy task - it requires physical stamina. Make sure your physical and mental health are in check to avoid burnout. 

“... regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing mental health problems by 30%.”

According to Beyond Blue, an Australian mental health and wellbeing support organisation, regular physical activity can reduce the risk of developing mental health problems by 30%. Taking care of your well-being enables you to manage stress better and enhances overall productivity.

5. Use technology to your advantage

Modern technology offers numerous tools that can streamline business operations and save time. 

You can use software like Groundplan to efficiently manage takeoffs and estimates, which can go a long way in saving invaluable time and resources for your business. 

Automating repetitive tasks and using digital tools can significantly reduce your workload and free up time for personal activities. Remote work tools allow for greater flexibility, enabling you to balance work and personal commitments more effectively. You can also use integrations like Simpro and QuickBooks to improve your business efficiency and make your entire quoting process a breeze with a simple click of a button.

Groundplan pushing to Simpro quote

6. Schedule regular breaks

Taking regular breaks during work hours is crucial for maintaining productivity and preventing burnout. Short breaks help in reducing mental fatigue and improving focus. 

Take different approaches to taking breaks. For example, there is one technique called the Pomodoro Technique that recommends incorporating regular breaks into your work schedule. You could try setting up reminders during the day to stretch, go for a walk, take a breather, or engage in any activity that helps you recharge.

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for trade business owners to avoid burnout and ensure long-term success. Remember, taking care of yourself is not just beneficial for you, but it also positively impacts your work and those around you.

For more information on the importance of work-life balance and managing stress, visit Beyond Blue.

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