Due to the changing preferences and evolving motivations of today’s workforce, employers are integrating more options to help them gain proper work-life balance, including refresh days. The idea of refresh days or time off outside of traditional leave is still a new concept being trialed by many employers in the US.
Some give their workforce several days per month or even a work week off of work requiring no explanation or reason. This aims to help employees gain motivation and be able to improve their health and wellbeing.
Here are a number of the early benefits that have been apparent for both employers and employees after adopting a refresh time policy.
- Working Smarter
Adopting refresh days enables employers to work smarter, not harder, as it helps in giving them enough time to refresh their minds and re-discover their life and their passion for work. Giving them to rest freely gives them enough space to breathe, think and plan out their tasks properly once workdays resume.
Regular rest and relaxation allow an individual to shift their perspective and have a break from their common way of thinking. So when they are ready to go back to work, they can have a fresher perspective. They become more creative and can develop new effective approaches to solving problems. Additionally, it allows them to perform their best with consistency.
Encouraging employees to take a break from work also helps improve morale and limit procrastination, as they feel that they are more valued. Hence they are motivated to do their job, knowing that there is a time for guilt-free rest that they can take as needed.
- A Healthy Rest
Majority of the workforce has been reported to have been sleeping less to work more, only having an average of 6 to 7.3 hours of shut-eye every day, lower than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep for optimum health and performance.
Sleep deprivation can cause serious sleeping problems and health-related issues. It can negatively affect their productivity at work and even their life in general. Hence, refresh days are much needed by employees to rest and get sufficient sleep.
A restful sleep or even just naps helps restore one’s physical and mental health. Some employees are even promoting the “sleep first, first then work” culture, as it is proven that sleep boosts an individual mind, body and spirit.
Having a regular time for rest and relaxation enables employees to maintain their health and energy levels. This empowers them to work consistently and at a balanced level versus not having the choice of a refresh day during the month.
- Reduced Stress
Refresh days help people have a break from their routine and schedule, hence lowering their stress levels. It gives them a break from the continuous pressure they might feel over doing tasks or meeting deadlines daily. These time-offs allow employees to manage their stress and be mindful of their emotions. This way, they can re-focus on the positive things around them and find inspiration to do their work as they move forward.
Giving them time to refresh and do recreational activities, like sports or their hobbies, or simply just having time with family and friends help elevates their mood and boost their motivation. It puts life back in their work-life balance, enabling them to connect with the world and be in a lighter environment with less pressure and stress.
Refresh days give them enough time to get creative, discover new skills, and enjoy a stress-free day. This helps employees develop a more positive outlook toward work and not get easily stressed or anxious just by thinking about it.
- Prevents Burnout
In the US, 79 percent of workers suffer from work-related stress, leading to burnout. Allowing employees to take refresh days, where they can have some additional time to rest and focus on themselves, helps avoid burnout.
Making employees do tedious tasks and letting them undergo pressure every day will cause physical and mental fatigue, even for the strongest top-performing workers. Employees can break a monotonous cycle with an extra day for rest and feel some relief and freedom. This can help motivate them, develop a healthier routine, and rediscover their passion for their job again. It also helps them rest physically and gives them time to take care of themselves.
Preventing employee stress and burn-out can help engage them and make them stay, which means a lower turnover rate and higher productivity levels for companies.
- Keeping Appointments
Today’s workforce is often always after productivity and being organized at work, which leads to some neglecting their own needs, like visiting a doctor, spending a day at a massage spa or salon, or just buying groceries or shopping.
There are some appointments they can do over the weekend, but some service providers are only open during office hours on weekdays. Hence employees tend to just not make appointments anymore. They also can shop online, but doing this at work can be counter-productive and distract them.
Having refresh days allows employees to have ample time to make important appointments like dental visits, ophthalmologist appointments, and more that might be less easy to make with a full month with only weekends off.
They can also easily go online shopping for their needs leisurely in the comfort of their own home. They can buy the designer bag or the new laptop they’ve been eyeing or shop designer prescription sunglasses online without any hassle or hurrying.
- Improves Working Relationships
Refresh days ultimately help in making employees happy and engaged. It aims to improve their well-being so they can be productive and can have a more positive perspective on their job. Keeping them satisfied and making them feel they are truly valued and appreciated helps in cultivating a more desirable work environment for everyone.
A well-rested employee will most likely be more open to communicating and collaborating with their colleagues. At the same time, they will be able to express more gratitude towards their colleagues and employers.
It has been proven that a happy and healthy employee is a productive and well-performing employee. They can contribute better if they are in their optimum condition, and adopting refresh days can help encourage them to maintain their health and well-being.
As the world evolves, it is only right to adjust principles and shift towards more positive approaches of encouraging and rewarding employees to perform their best, cultivating a healthier employee-employer relationship.
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