Two fantastic articles just came out that discussed why it was important that leaders take employee burnout seriously and what some companies are actually doing to address employee burnout.
As many companies figure out what the future of their offices looks like post-COVID, some employers are recognizing that they can't expect employees to just go back. Many (most? all?) employees have been through the ringer for over a year now. To expect employees to just go back to the office life without a breath is unrealistic. Everyone has earned a break.
Many employers are evaluating their benefit offerings such as vacation time, caregiver benefits, and expanded mental health benefits. While it's nice that these are being discussed, unless leadership champions these offerings, it's a waste of time.
Even if employees are committed to taking more vacation time this year, getting ready to go out on vacation can be stressful in and of itself. A recent survey by HR Dive found that while people 82% of respondents plan on checking in with work less frequently during their next vacation, many employees still end up working during paid time off. Fifty-six percent said they had canceled, delayed, or cut short vacation plans due to work demands and 61% said they typically check in with work at least once a day while on vacation. I have been guilty of this myself, and often it was because there was pressure to not let things fall through the cracks, even when you're on vacation.
Spoiler alert--none of my work was truly that important.
One recent trend that is gaining more traction is the idea of a company-wide week off. I love this idea for multiple reasons: everyone (including leadership) takes the week. There's no prepping your backup because there won't be anyone in the office. Perhaps the main idea I like this is "novel" ideas like this come from the top. No company-wide time off gets the green light without buy-in from the execs. I would have loved to work for a company like this.
Of course, these ideas only work if leadership leads by example. If everyone has the week off, the last thing you want to see is an email pop up from a boss or another leader from your company.
What do you think? How is your company supporting employees? Are they planning fun events? Giving people bonus vacation? Implementing a company-wide week off? Comment below!