Just Relax: Why You Should Encourage Your Team to Take Time Off

by Jack Parodi 07/28/2020

As a manager, it is important to influence your employees. Influencing your employees has become even more important in recent months. The way people work has changed dramatically since the coronavirus outbreak started. Many people have adjusted to working from home and this changed the businesses began to run their operations. Virtual meetings became normal and many people had to balance their work with different responsibilities at home. This ultimately led people to become more burnt out than they would have if they were working in the office, and led to decreased productivity levels. With many people canceling vacations due to the pandemic and opting to work instead, American workers are losing the opportunity to alleviate some of the effects of burnout. This, in turn, is leaving people struggling to be productive when working. 

A major way to help combat the burnout employees are feeling right now is for managers to begin to take more action to help workers combat low productivity levels. For more on the ways managers can support employees with decreased productivity, read the tips below!

Sabina Nawaz, of the Harvard Business Journal, dives into this in her article, “Managers, Encourage Your Team to Take Time Off.”

1. Be Clear About Time Off Policies

Sometimes employees don’t have a clear idea of the time off policies in place at their company. Sharing this information is essential for employees to know. Being direct with employees with the time off policies within the company can encourage workers to take some time off. Along with this, provide information about how the procedures about going back to the office look if employees do decide to go on vacation. This will ensure that employees have the information to make a decision if they decide to take a vacation or not and what is expected of them when they come back to the office.

2. Reinvent What A Vacation Looks Like

Usually, during the summer, people go on vacation with friends or family as a way to recharge. Not this summer, though. With the pandemic interrupting people’s vacation plans, many people are opting to work instead of taking time off. Employees deciding to not take vacations is detrimental to combating burnout. Managers should encourage employees to go on vacation (or staycation) or take time off.

3. Showing That You Care

Being able to show your employees your support during this time is essential. One of the ways you can show support is by providing flexibility with them. Since many employees have other responsibilities at home outside of work, offering flexibility can be beneficial to them personally and professionally. Show flexibility by motivating people to take time off, extending deadlines for different projects, and providing reassurance to your employees that their job is secure within the company. Showing flexibility with employees can create a sense of trust which in turn can lead to stronger professional connections between you and employees.

4. Setting An Example

Sometimes the most persuasive thing someone can do is living by what they say. This is one of the best ways you can encourage employees to take time off. This means setting an example to your employees around you. As a way to encourage employees to take a day off, you should take a day off to lead by example. This is vital since many employees will be resistant to taking time off.

5. Change Vacation Times

Since many people will be reluctant to take time off, providing a different timeline for vacation could be the solution. One of the ways you can do this is by providing shorter vacation periods or multiple days off, but spread out from one another. Employees may be more likely to take multiple days off spread out than taking an entire week off. This can give employees a little bit of rest so they can work more productively throughout the week. This type of adaptation to a standard vacation can lead to more employees taking the needed time off that they should.

6. Use a Team

Teams are very productive and can provide immense support to the people apart of them. Actually, you can use teams to help deal with burnout. One of the ways teams can be utilized for combating burnout is to each have designated times off and still complete the others team members work. Not only does this give team members some time to take a breather, but also promotes unity and trust within a team as well. This will lead to employees less burnt out, but also creates a high performing team too!

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