Disconnecting from Work: Key to Boosting Employee Mental Health and Productivity

Employee Mental Health

Disconnecting from Work: Key to Boosting Employee Mental Health and Productivity

The Imperative of Disconnecting from Work for Mental Well-being

The rising trend of burnout among employees has spurred many employers into acknowledging the significance of time off from work. Employees who take time to unwind report improved mental health, heightened job satisfaction, and increased productivity upon resuming work. However, the challenge lies in the ability of employees to fully disconnect from work. According to a survey by The Harris Poll on behalf of Ceridian, a human resource technology firm, 55% of U.S. workers admit to not completely unplugging from work, while 17% remain fully connected even during their time off.

Michelle Bonam, Ceridian’s vice president of organizational effectiveness, emphasizes the importance of taking time for oneself to recharge and replenish. “If you don’t disconnect, you don’t truly get that time,” she warns.

The Fear Factor in Disconnecting

The reluctance of professionals to take time off often stems from the fear of missing out. The pay-for-performance culture prevalent in the U.S. perpetuates the belief that one’s performance suffers if they miss out on an opportunity while away from work, according to Langsett. The dread of returning to a mountain of work, the expectation to respond to emails and attend meetings during vacation, and the anxiety surrounding job security due to increasing layoffs also contribute to professionals’ hesitation to unplug.

Strategies for Encouraging Employee Unplugging

Leaders play a crucial role in facilitating a healthy work-life balance for their employees. Clear communication regarding how work will be managed during an employee’s absence is key. Bonam suggests that managers should reinforce the value of each role within the organization and establish protocols for urgent communication during an employee’s vacation. Identifying individuals who can make decisions in someone’s absence is another effective strategy.

In this context, it’s worth considering that the best sit stand desk or an electric height adjustable standing desk can contribute significantly to physical health at work. However, mental health requires more than just ergonomic solutions. It calls for a conscious effort to disconnect and recharge.

The Pros and Cons of Remote Work

Remote work has brought its own set of benefits and challenges. On one hand, it offers flexibility and eliminates commute time. On the other hand, it blurs the line between personal and professional life, making it even harder for employees to disconnect.

In this scenario, creating a dedicated workspace at home can help maintain work-life boundaries. For instance, one can buy a standing desk or invest in a health benefits of electric stand up desk to create an office-like environment at home. Even a simple addition like a TV lift can transform a living room into a temporary workspace during work hours, allowing it to revert back to a relaxation zone post-work.

In conclusion, while technological advancements have made it easier for professionals to stay connected 24/7, it’s crucial to remember that constant connectivity can lead to burnout. Employers must not only promote but also model healthy disconnecting habits for their employees. After all, a recharged employee is a more productive and satisfied one.

author avatar
Guy Director
Higher Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. Ergomotion Director since 2005.

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Josh Oliver 04/02/24

I've had an ergomotion desk for 10 years. It's still as good today as it was brand new. Over the years Guy has always responded promptly to any guidance I've needed (mostly help putting the desk back together after removalists take it apart).

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