In a constantly connected culture, work-life balance is hard to find. We’re mindful of recharging our electronic devices, yet we don’t always recharge our battery.
How often do you get away from work without checking your email and without feeling guilty? Consider this:
It’s hard to recharge if you don’t disconnect.
Time to relax – even if it’s just a few hours – is vital to our overall health. “Time off does wonders for employees,” says Christina Callahan, Director of HR at IMPACT Group. “It is key to prevent burnout – giving people renewed energy and perspective.”
Been awhile since you disconnected? Take a moment to consider why. Are you managing too many projects? Sifting through too many emails? Afraid of disappointing your boss? “Managers should personally encourage employees to take time off and create an environment that supports individuals while they are away,” shares Christina. If your team members are part of the 40% mentioned above, a discussion about workload and priorities should be in order. “It truly is a win-win for everyone.”
Tony Schwartz, the creator of The Energy Project, believes individuals need to sustain energy in four key areas: 1) physical, 2) emotional, 3) mental, and 4) spiritual. His website reminds us that, “we’re not meant to run at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time.” The key is to be intentional about how you spend and renew your energy. When work zaps all of our mental strength and we don’t have time to focus on other areas of our life, performance, accuracy, and enthusiasm slip.
Set an example. Use your vacation days.
Eighty percent of employees state if they felt more supported and encouraged by their boss, they would use more vacation time. “Setting a good example at the top of the organization is key here. Executives and leaders should be intentional about taking time away to not only reap the benefits, but also set a positive example,” Christina states.
If workload keeps people from using their designated PTO, Christina encourages managers to plan ahead and cross-train team members. “When a plan is in place to cover the workload, people are less likely to worry about work while they are away.”
Life has changed dramatically since the introduction of handheld devices. Our work has crept into our cars, our commute, our dinner time, and our downtime. This summer, do something about it. Identify ways to work smarter, set boundaries, and disconnect from the office to sustain healthy levels of energy and productivity – guilt-free.
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