Productivity, achievement, priority management, goal-setting, and measurables. Words like these appear in every business journal and countless LinkedIn posts. These words represent important aspects of every business and can help keep the mission moving forward.
But a new tide is rising as businesses are starting to realize the importance of downtime and leisure in the long-term success of their organization. An article in the Harvard Business Review stated, “drawing brighter lines between work and time off — family, friends, outside activities, and old-fashioned daydreaming — has clear benefits for productivity, creativity, and wellness. There’s an upside to downtime.”
Many organizations are starting to offer their employees unlimited vacation time, unlimited paid time off, and giving their employees the autonomy to work at a pace that fits their busy lives, encourages hobbies and family time, and ultimately creates happier, healthier, and more motivated workers. Many companies are finding that employees with this autonomy are actually working more and finding more fulfillment in their accomplishments.
Are you a business owner looking to maximize your employees’ efforts? Maybe the answer isn’t newer task management software or tighter accountability structures. Perhaps the solution is found in a team outing, an unexpected day off, or a fantasy football league to break up the day’s tasks and conversations.
Are you an employee who is on the brink of burnout? Instead of the ol’ “nose to the grindstone” approach to your work, maybe the solution is found in scheduling that vacation, in taking up a new hobby or starting a new workout routine. In extreme cases, perhaps it’s time to have an honest conversation with your boss and explore some ways to enjoy more freedom and downtime.
Wherever you may be in that spectrum, find the balance of work and play, and see where things lead. You may just like what you find!