It’s getting more and more difficult to stop thinking about work, even when you’re not clocked in. So, what can bosses do to help their employees switch off and recharge after work hours?
The COVID-19 pandemic brought employee wellness and mental health support into sharp focus. Recent legislation, too, has pushed towards employee wellbeing and a work-life balance.
British Columbia amended its Employment Standards Act to provide employees with five days of paid sick leave (in addition to three unpaid days) as of January 1, 2022. Certain employees in Ontario will soon enjoy the right to disconnect from work after contracted hours under the recently passed Bill 27, Working for Workers Act 2021.
But that’s easier said than done, especially when working from home right? From eyeing up an email to scrolling past a tweet, it’s difficult to stop work from creeping into your daily life, even after official work hours.
A recent study found that 16% of working hours (41 days) were lost in 2021 due to absences and presenteeism, and close to half (48%) of employees are experiencing at least one work-related mental health risk factor.
As a boss, it’s your job to encourage your employees to jump out of the work mindset and relax and de-stress after a busy day.
Because if not, you risk your employees burning out. And that’s not only harmful to their health, but it’ll also cost your business time, money, and productivity.
So, it’s super important to make sure your staff are taking some time to focus on themselves. And lucky for you, we’ve got five top tips to help you do just that…
1. Prioritise workloads realistically
Setting realistic deadlines helps staff work to a nice, calm schedule. So, provide your staff clarity on what work you expect them to do over the week or month. Give your employees ownership of their tasks and avoid micro-managing.
Because if you pile on the pressure, you might find that your superstar employees start to produce low-quality work, or even come close to burning out.
2. Manage absences better by leaving handovers for remaining staff
It’s the first summer after over two years of pandemic travel restrictions. You may be short-staffed as many employees may be away vacationing at the same time. Get your holidaying staff to leave their colleagues a detailed handover—that way those on leave can be confident that they’re not falling behind, and your remaining staff aren’t left stressed and confused.
3. Put the brakes on employee presenteeism
Businesses are using mobile technology more and more. And while that’s great in a lot of ways, it has also led to a huge upswing in employee presenteeism.
Overly eager staff members can take their work with them wherever they go. So, encourage your employees to log out of their work-related email accounts. And make sure that any email you do send your staff after official work hours is 100% necessary.
4. Be a shining example
As the boss, the way you behave shows your employees how you expect them to act. And your bad example can cause ripple effects.
So, if you message your team after work hours, it actively encourages others to follow your lead. And before you know it, you’ll end up with a room full of unrested and understandably irritated staff the next morning.
Instead, your team should see you taking guilt-free breaks. After all, if the boss is taking time for themselves, even the most junior-level employee has permission to do so.
5. Support staff wellbeing
Start a conversation about mental health in the workplace. Offer an Employee Assistance Program to support the mental health and wellbeing of your employees.
If chronic stress is an issue in your workplace, consider stress management training. But you should also identify the source of the stress and take measures to eliminate or reduce it.
Need advice on employee management?
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