Improve Employee Stress Levels This Summer
You’re leaning back in your chair, kicked back with your toes in the sand, sipping on a nice cocktail or cold brew, sun shining down. It’s just about at that perfect temperature to get up and take a dip in the water to cool off…
“Hey do you think you’ll get me that file this afternoon?”
Whoops…that was a desktop daydream.
Ah, summer time in the office. Everyone is half-checked out at every company, so what’s the harm in taking a slower pace, right? Nothing is gonna get done even if you try to make progress.
The problem is that being half-checked out at work usually means being half-checked in when you’re not at work.
And that lack of progress turns into a huge pile of bottled up stress you’re keeping in the back of your mind. Maybe you’re not actively thinking about all that you should be doing, but it adds a nice level of subconscious anxiety to your days (and maybe nights).
Did you know that 61% of workers report feeling burnt out? No surprise there.
The surprise might come in that 33% of people don’t even plan on taking a vacation this year!
All that stress and burnout, but not even a thought of trying to catch a breath.
Despite public opinion, or maybe because of it, there’s a strong subculture of young professionals who think burnout is necessary and a rite of passage to success.
Draining and Maintaining, Never Recharging
Whether they’re addicted to their phones or afraid of being judged by colleagues or managers, in today’s connected world, people aren’t fully unplugging the way they need to.
It might not seem like a big deal to check your email from your phone once in awhile to make sure nothing is on fire, or you aren’t letting anything urgent delay too long that your boss or client will get frustrated with you.
But when you don’t recharge, you never get back to 100%. You’re either draining your battery, or just maintaining it.
If you’re on vacation with your family and your mind is still at work, what does that do for your vacation?
Your relationships with your loved ones?
Your own happiness? In the short term and the long term.
And happiness plays a major role in productivity. It’s even scientifically proven now.
Happier employees are more productive.
Fully charged and rested employees are going to do a better job.
It’s time for employees to recognize the importance of their own relaxation. And summer is the perfect season to do it.
Get Employees To Relax This Summer
Summer Fridays, once the go-to for companies to show how “cool” they were, have seemed to disappeared. The amount of organizations offering Summer Fridays is down from 63% in 2012 to just 20%. If this isn’t something you’ve considered, it might be time to take another look.
Start doing ice cream socials or catered lunches without any work-related discussions to get people a true mental break.
Take advantage of the slower pace to increase your employee engagement. Even try implementing some more charitable initiatives for team building and disconnecting from the office.
Educate employees on the importance of unplugging when they are home at night, on the weekends, or on vacation.
Make sure they aren’t feeling afraid to take off and not check email while they’re with their friends and family when they should be having a good time and recharging.
If you are in client services, it can be stressful to try to unplug with the fear that client’s are going to need you or you’re going to look bad for not being fully accessible 100% of the time.
If you communicate with your clients and colleagues ahead of time, you can prevent any of those issues ever arising. It’s amazing what a 5 minute phone call can do for a relationship, and your own mental health.
Lead By Example
Just like ambition, hard work, and efficiency are all part of a culture that must be ingrained from the top down in an organization, so is the importance of getting the R&R you need to come back and play at full strength.