Want to reduce workforce stress? Allow your employees to unplug when they’re “off duty!” It’s become almost impossible for anyone to escape work when they’re on their own time and, like most employers, you probably expect staff to tend to your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But you’re contributing to stress and burnout, so your workers can’t give you their best. You’re the one who loses in the long run.
Leave Employees Alone After Work
Sure, you feel that all your business is urgent, but is it really? Take a critical look at this. Because, instead of constantly checking work email and hanging on the phone at all hours of the night to conduct business on behalf of your company, they should be enjoying their family, friends, and personal interests. This helps them recharge so they can return to the job feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Being unable to unplug, most are operating on fumes. Some are even responding to your business when they’re sick in the hospital! Though they still may be grinding out the work, this fuels intense resentment and contributes to the decline of morale and quality of performance. It also triggers all types of health issues. You have the power to broadcast that off-duty time is important, and that they deserve time to take care of themselves. Start by not contacting your direct reports after hours and on weekends. Certainly stop piling work on them when they’re out sick. Once you set the example, your team will get the point that they shouldn’t be doing this to their direct reports either. If you’re not in a “life or death” business, let your people go!
Find Something Else To Do With Yourself After Work
Often you’re contacting your staff and engaging in work after hours because you have nothing else to do with yourself. Get a life! Think about the things you used to enjoy before you became such a workaholic. Most people have personal interests, hobbies, and recreations they like but haven’t done in a long time because they’re tethered to work. Break free! Focus your attention on some of these other things. You’re less likely to spend all your time intruding upon your employees during what’s supposed to be their free time. And if you’re throwing yourself into work because you’re unhappy with your personal relationships, treat yourself to a confidential consultation with a mental health professional to help you start feeling better again. Because when you’re suffering, you make those around you suffer too.
Take A Vacation
When your total identify is associated with your job, you may find it hard to tear yourself away to do anything else. Vacations force you to redirect your attention to other things, and at times will force you to unplug – even if only temporarily while you‘re on a plane, for example. Dive in and enjoy a cruise or other activity that holds you “captive” so you can’t easily conduct all your usual work activities and communications. This will give you time to relax and leisurely explore some new interests you may not have considered before. It also will give you some mental rest, which will make room for you to think about other pursuits you might enjoy once you return home.
Though it’s customary these days to require employees to stay plugged into your company all day and night, show that you care about their well-being and allow them to unplug when their official workday is over. This reflects positively on you, but more importantly, this freedom will do wonders for your entire workforce!
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Your Success Psychologist!
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317