When did you last take a weekend?
I mean a proper weekend! Not the weekend where you’re standing on the sideline of your kid’s soccer game glued to your iPhone and only glancing up when you hear a cheer on the off chance it was a goal for your team. And not the type of weekend when you tell yourself you’ll just spend a few hours working and before you know it it’s Sunday evening and you haven’t even been out to the supermarket.
I’m talking about a totally work-free weekend … Saturday and Sunday!
The majority of people spend more hours at work than they do with family or friends. While engaged employees are motivated and dedicated to their organization, it is important for employers to recognize that their employees need time away from the workplace to stay properly engaged.
Employers definitely need to promote more of a work-life balance philosophy as part of their workplace culture. But this is where the terminology gets confusing. “Work-life” balance implies that what your employees do for you (their job or their career) and their personal life (all their time outside your workplace) are on par with each other.
I remember reading a LinkedIn article by Jappreet Sethi a few years ago where he described the problem with work-life balance as the suggestion that there is a trade-off – that one side must be ‘up’ and the other one ‘down,’ like a weighing scale that has two sides to it.
However, there is no denying that the pursuit of work-life balance reduces the stress employees experience. When they spend the majority of their days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting the other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result.
As business owners, it’s up to us to ensure we’re not working our teams to the bone and unleashing stress and unhappiness. Don’t encourage working on weekends. If you decide to send an email on a Saturday afternoon, then make it clear that you only expect a response on Monday. After all, the word “weekend” implies that it’s the end of the week … Even God rested on the seventh day (or so we’re told!).
For more on the science behind why weekends are important for your employees (and for you too!), be sure to check out this infographic recently published by our friends at NetCredit. Oh … and there’s a reason we’re publishing this blog post on a Friday. Your new approach weekends should start right now!