Marcela Sapone, Taking a break is part of your job, Quartzy, May 16, 2018
Downtime is Worktime
I believe so strongly in the power and effectiveness of rest, that as CEO of a tech startup, I’ve encouraged my employees to go as far as scheduling a weekly break. I want to pay them to not work, because I know that even when they step away from their work stations, they will still be thinking, and it’s in these periods of less focused thought that the best ideas often emerge. It’s like high-intensity interval training for the workplace—periods of intense work followed by rest are more efficient and ultimately more productive.
Through the WI Lens
Maybe the wellness industry could set an example by walking the talk? We are always shocked, but not that surprised, to see wellness executives, even in the hospitality and wellbeing industry, suffering from burnout. Although we only rely on anecdotal evidence, we believe it is more widespread than most people think.
Common sense dictates that social norms regarding the amount of hours we work (“the more the better”) should change. As this article explains, there is ample academic research to support the notion that recovery time is critically important. Yet, corporate work cultures around the world (including the wellness industry) continue to celebrate unrelenting effort with diminishing returns. Instead, as suggested in the article, we should think of non-work time as not only something that makes us better at our jobs—but as part of our jobs.
What this article goes on to explain is how positive thinking – described here as ‘thriving’ – can counter the effects that come from the negativity outlined above, from reduced memory to diminished performance. Based on studying people in a series of organisations in different industries, one of the authors has found that people who attain this state are more resilient, experience less burnout, and are more confident in their ability to take control of a situation
“Behind the jargon what this is really about is how we address the challenge of biodiversity under threat, move away from fossil materials like plastic and concrete, and use nature in a sustainable way, all of which could be summed up by “living in harmony with nature”.”
“In the new ‘consensual contract’ between employer and worker, what’s required is a commitment from the employer to safeguard the wellbeing of their people, and a commitment in return from employees to take personal responsibility for their performance of their job.”
“Could loneliness not only be damaging our mental and physical health but also be making the world a more aggressive, angry place? And if so, what are the implications for a cohesive society and democracy?”
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”