They say that all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. Trite aphorisms aside, there’s definitely a kernel of truth to the fact that you have to give yourself time to rest just as much as you work.
Interestingly, the advent of cloud computing, mobile technology and telecommuting seem to have made attaining an optimal work-life balance even more difficult than it was before, at least in some instances. Though it may seem like it’s outside of your purview as manager, encouraging your employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance should be a priority, especially since it has a direct impact on your company’s overall productivity.
Here are a few key facts to keep in mind.
Forget all the old inspirational sayings – it is definitely possible to work “too hard.” In fact, many companies have unknowingly cultivated a climate and culture where pushing oneself too far may be common.
Burnout is the logical end point of accumulating too much work-related stress. More than just a bad mood, it can have a serious impact on how your employees function. According to Boundless, burnout has been associated with lower engagement, higher absenteeism and turnover and even an increase in employee sickness. All of these things are bad not just for company morale, but for your productivity as well.
The importance of disconnecting
Ironically, one of the most useful tools of the new millennium is also directly responsible for the rise of employee burnout: the Internet. The unprecedented ability for workers to complete job-related tasks from virtually anywhere at any time has been simultaneously one of the best and worst things to happen to the workforce.
Short of increasing productivity, the always-on nature of some jobs is actually having the opposite effect. With less and less distinction between “at work” and “at home,” employees are burning out even faster. The constant barrage of emails, text messages and other electronic notifications can leave employees feeling besieged. It’s important to highlight the necessity of stepping away at a given time – encourage your staff to set an “offline deadline” every day so that they can give themselves a set period of time to unplug and decompress.
Encouraging a healthy work-life balance is subtle, but ultimately crucial to your company’s success. It may even be worth it to implement HR solutions to the issue on a company policy level.