We’ve all been there. Staring at that flashing cursor on your screen. Reading a memo for the 10th time, still retaining nothing. Not even realizing that in that meeting with your boss this morning, you spent half of it staring at the blinds (or thinking of our surf report). It’s not just your ADD coming through. It’s more likely that you’re suffering from what the Harvard Business Review is calling the epidemic of the 21st Century, Employee Burnout.
And no, that’s not just a millennial way of complaining about working proper hours. It’s real, and its costing hundreds of billions of dollars each year to the US economy alone. This burnout tends to arise from a number of factors, the most prevalent of which usually falls along the lines of unnecessary meetings, excessive email requirements and just general bureaucracy. Basically, workers today are doing far more tasks each day that actually have nothing to do with what they are there to do, leading to a less engaged and therefore less innovative workforce.
According to a 2013 Gallup poll, only 30% of American workers are actively committed to doing a good job at work. According to another recent survey by attask, only 54% of the average American workers’ day is spent doing their actual work. Pretty insane if you ask me.
But don’t run to the hills just yet, the business folk over here at Whalebone have a few tweaks you can make in your office to give your workers that break they so justly deserve.
Allow just 30 minutes or so each day to give your employees that break where they can center on themselves and get the mental blood flowing, which leads directly to better performance at work. Build it into the calendar. Even if they nap, it will help. This is not just about being calm for 30 minutes a day, it has everything to do with building mindfulness in the workplace. Give yourself time to think, prioritize, eliminate, and achieve. Even if its just quiet time, make it happen. It’s not just hippy dippy anymore, even GE is doing it.
- Flexible Workspace and Time
It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who works in a cool office space these days, complete with no walls, a kegerator, ping pong table, and that dude from IT’s dog slobbering wherever it so pleases, sometimes this environment just isn’t conducive to getting sh*t done. Even when you shut your door, someone is bound to come by “just for a sec,” moments later. A recent study discovered that it takes 23 minutes to fully recover from these disruptions and get re-focused. But what if it happens every 10 minutes? When you or your employees have deadlines approaching, just let the people go…wherever they want to go. Hey you should even give the 4 day workweek a shot. It helped these guys.
- Empower your Employees
Employee autonomy has been shown to be monumental in the success of a firm. Stop double checking everything your employees are doing. If you don’t trust them enough to leave them alone then you’ve probably hired the wrong people right? Present them with challenges and then leave them be.
Be transparent in what you do, and transfer that to their roles. Encourage failure as a learning tool, not a detrimental behavior. And most of all, just don’t babysit.
For more advice, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, and learn some more business tips and tricks you can implement at your company (for cheap…maybe).