Encouraging Your Remote Team to Take Breaks

work from home rest

While travelling may be out of reach due to pandemic restrictions, taking time off from work may also be forgotten. With the convenience of working from home, some employees assume that current working arrangements are flexible, giving them a tendency to mismanage their time. This results in cramming and longer hours to finish a certain task;  worse, they even tend to work on the weekend, taking time away from their personal well-being.

Apart from personal factors, the work from home setting results in more virtual meetings and constant calls with the team. With everyone working remotely with no physical visibility, interaction requires more time and urgency.

In the effort of pushing through a crisis, demand to work doubled and longer hours became part of the “new normal;”  however, this is bad not just for your employee but also for your organization. 

Taking a time off is necessary as it lets our bodies and minds recover from all the excruciating tasks that we have done, which can impact the productivity of a person and the performance of the whole organisation. In fact, a worker’s lack of recovery or adequate rest can cost companies over $60 billion a year.

Therefore, as a business leader, it is necessary for you to acknowledge the team’s needs to take some time off. Here’s how you can encourage them to do so according to Harvard Business Review:

Provide clarity

Be proactive in terms of explaining your company policies on vacation and leave time. You can align and provide guidelines set by the government to ensure the employees’ welfare during the pandemic.

Redefine vacations

Given the new normal, the term “vacation” should now have a different meaning. Explain to your team that they should focus on having family time, self-pampering, or any other self-improvement activities during their time off. Taking a break does not necessarily mean going out but to have a mere sense of recovery from all the stress from work.

Demonstrate care

Working conditions in work from the home arrangement are extremely different. You have to assume that since everyone is at home, including the family or relatives of your employee, your employees may attend to some responsibilities in between work hours. Encourage your employees to take the time they need to balance priorities between work and personal affairs. 

Be the role model

As a business leader, you play a vital role in setting a good example to your employees. Walk the talk, as they say. You can show to your employees that you also need to take a break sometimes, unwind, and recharge to lead the team better. A well-rested mind can be wiser at decision making. You can also allocate a certain day in a month to have paid time off for the entire organisation. Showing them how to value their time off can give them a lifestyle that will be mutually beneficial for them and the company.

Change durations

Since long vacations are no longer feasible, you can encourage your employees to take some short breaks in between work hours, or take a half or a whole day off at certain days of the month. Frequent breaks are actually better than longer vacation durations. You can also remind employees to have some time away from gadgets and/or checking their emails every weekend.

Activate a team

Most employees are afraid of taking some breaks because they are worried about who is going to cover their tasks to meet their deadlines. This is where your influence as a business leader comes in. Ask your team how they can possibly share duties when someone is off for a break. This will not just ensure your business continuity but also equip your team with excellent accountability.

Linked to encouraging your team to take breaks when from home and now being dragged from meeting to meeting, is understanding how truly gritty to ensure you are investing time in supporting the member so your team that need it…… Understanding their PATH Grit Quotient is key.

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