Managing workload distribution: Tips to get it right

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Workload management is the practice of distributing work equally and efficiently throughout a team. As a team leader, it’s essential to ensure your team members have a balanced workload to avoid feelings of overwhelm and burnout. In a study by Asana, 71% of workers felt burnout in 2020, and 82% felt less engaged at work due to stress and pressure. This burnout can lead to a decrease in employee productivity, hurting the long-term goals for your business.


Read more about why workload distribution is important, steps and tips to distribute workload management equally, and signs that your business may have unfair workload distribution.

Why is workload distribution important?

Managing team workload is vital to avoid burnout and work-related stress among employees. Working distribution helps provide a foundation for:

If done correctly, this improved workflow can boost confidence in team members, reduce disorganization, and leave your team feeling more satisfied.

Risks of an unbalanced workload distribution

There are many risks of a business with an unbalanced workload distribution—this mostly centers around the emotional well-being of your employees, which can have a long-term impact on the success of your business. Other risks include:

  • Escalated conflict and resentment: Stressed and overwhelmed team members could be a recipe for conflict, as well as team members with a heavy workload resenting others who have a lighter workload.
  • Unproductive work: Overloaded team members may have to turn to multitasking to get through the day. This can end up with a “quantity over quality mindset” when it comes to getting through a large to-do list which is unproductive overall.
  • Increased turnover: If team members feel burnt out and underappreciated, they may look elsewhere for a structure that’s more supportive. This can create a high turnover within your business.

How to distribute workload equally: 7 steps and tips

Assigning tasks to team members equally is important to ensure proper workload distribution and avoid burnout—this is the key to running your business effectively and efficiently. Here are seven steps to accomplish workload distribution along with helpful tips.

1. Determine your team’s workload and capacity

First, it’s important to take a step back and figure out the amount of work your team needs to tackle. Get your plans in order by:

  • Creating a list of projects your team is responsible for
  • Figuring out the timing of work and scope for each project
  • Organizing projects into categories and dividing them into digestible chunks
  • Prioritizing projects based on urgency and importance

With workload tracking, you can get a better sense of how much work each team member should tackle, or has the ability to take on.


Tip: While determining capacity, be sure to also consider things like meetings, recurring tasks, and any paid time off that could be coming up.

2. Review your data

Taking a look at the data and metrics behind the projects can also give you a good sense of bandwidth and how to reprioritize workload tasks. Ensure the data and analytics is being tracked and is accurate—this can include reports from:

It’s also a good idea to get a better understanding of the amount of time each project or task takes.


Tip: Introduce a workload management tool such as time tracking if not already implemented—many time tracking platforms can give you insight into how much time a team or individual is spending on a project.

3. Start allocating tasks

After the data gives you a better idea of how much work a team member can take on, you can start allocating tasks and craft project timelines. Be sure to break this list down into steps required for each task, the estimated number of hours, and prioritize based on importance and due dates.


Tip: Be sure to review the big picture, such as your business’s goals in the long run—this can help you determine prioritization and resource allocation.

4. Have an impartial mindset

Be fair and don’t play favorites when allocating work to team members. You must have an unbiased workload distribution system when it comes to types of projects you assign, vacation requests, and scheduling. Be sure you’re not overworking top performers as well.


Tip: You can’t make everyone happy, so keep this in mind while assigning tasks to avoid burnout on your end as well.

5. Ensure roles and expectations are clear

When it comes to workload distribution, it’s crucial that each team member is very clear on what their role entails and what’s expected of them. The clearer this is to each employee, the easier it will be to assign and review projects.


Tip: Making sure that each role is specific and established will better help you assign tasks based on strengths and job descriptions.

6. Be open with communication

Managing workloads is best when there is open communication in a team. Be sure to set up one-on-one chats with each team member to check in and get insight into how their workload feels—this can help them feel heard and get them more engaged and motivated.


This can be a great time to get insight as to what’s working or not and if you need to rethink your workload distribution plan.

Tip: When having open communications with your team members, be sure to discourage long working hours within your conversation. This can help reinforce a “teamwork” culture that values productivity and quality over the number of hours employees work.

7. Stay flexible

Don’t become overly strict about your workload distribution plan—sometimes, things within your department or organization will change and you’ll need to be flexible. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to switch gears and shift your plan.


Some team members may take on more than others in one quarter, but then it should even out throughout the course of the year.

Tip: Making sure your employees track their paid time off days in advance can make it easier to plan and schedule specific tasks around them.

Signs your team has an unfair workload distribution

An unbalanced workload can hurt team performance. To help avoid an unbalanced workplace and start managing workload effectively, you need to first know how to detect unbalanced workloads. Here are several signs that your team may have an unfair workload distribution:

Your team is working long hours

If you notice that most of your team members are working long hours or logging on during non-work hours, you may need to rethink your workload distribution strategy and reduce workloads.


Alternatively, there may be workers that aren’t working long enough or are taking breaks that are too long. An improved and balanced employee workload can help with time management and a healthier work-life balance.

There’s a lack of communication

Another sign of unfair workload distribution is the gradual slowing down of communication between team members. Lack of communication could mean that certain tasks or project details can slip through the cracks, leaving you behind schedule and on different pages.


To bring everyone back to the same page, you can review communication best practices and hold a team meeting.

There’s a decrease in employee retention

If you find that more and more of your team members are putting in their two weeks, it could be a sign that your strategy isn’t working and that team members are being put under too much pressure and stress. A decrease in employee retention can be costly as you’ll have to spend on resources to hire replacements.

Employees are missing deadlines

Projects hitting their deadlines is important to overall business success. If projects need extensions and employees are missing deadlines, you’ll need to address this by reprioritizing and managing workloads.


However, it’s important to ensure that these deadlines are attainable and realistic for your team to meet. Consider integrating workload management tools along with your workload distribution strategy to maximize benefits.

Ensure you set your team up for success

By following these steps and tips, you can help ensure your entire team has a balanced workload distribution and a more productive mindset. If you’ve noticed any of the signs above, it may be time to reconsider your software and resource management.

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This article originally appeared on the Quickbooks Resource Center and was syndicated by

15 secrets for a successful small business


It’s hard to believe that I just passed 10 years as an entrepreneur. As we’ve grown at Content Marketing Institute, I’ve leaned on many critical resources, and I keep them pinned to my office wall—such as Mark Fletcher’s 15 Startup Commandments, Dharmesh Shah’s Startup Triplets and Fast Company’s 10 Common Mistakes Startups Make.

Although it’s hard to clearly identify what success factors have been the most critical during our journey on “the road less traveled,” here are the ones that I believe have made the most impact on me, our company, our amazing employees and — most of all — our valued customers.


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In my experience, most partnerships simply don’t work and can hamper the creativity of the organization. Just be careful.


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This almost cost us the entire business. Although my first startup, Junta42, was working and profitable, we weren’t growing the business at a rate that was acceptable. But Junta42 was my baby, and although I knew it needed to evolve, it took everything I had to pivot the business in a new direction. Discarding the product we began the business with was the best business decision—and the hardest one—I ever made.


Never do any of this yourself. Hire professionals.

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The majority of my friends thought I was crazy for leaving a high-paying executive job to start a business. Again, go with your gut.


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When you are a micro-sized business, you can afford to try a little bit of everything. That’s perfectly okay. But once you get to a point where the business model is fleshing itself out, then you need laser focus.


It is your responsibility to know the influencers in your industry who can help make or break your business. Once you identify those people, you need to be sharing their content on a consistent basis, whether that’s through Facebook, Twitter or building lists to post on your blog. The more unsolicited gifts of content you can give, the more others will return the favor, helping to build your business into the future.


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This article originally appeared on the Quickbooks Resource Center and was syndicated by



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