Do you ever find yourself looking at work emails or talking about work to people around you in your free time? The answer is most probably yes for most of you and will most likely be the same for your employees. While this is fine on the odd occasion, many people do this on a daily basis and will end up technically working more hours than they are paid to do so. Having dedicated workers on your force is, of course, a good thing, but when does dedication become an obsession? And when does this obsession start damaging your business?
Overworked employees are known to actually do more harm than good to your company. If your employees are using technology to carry on their working hours, it could lead to the build-up of unnecessary stress, costly mistakes and irrational decisions in the workplace. However, there are ways you can encourage your employees to stop thinking about work when they leave the office, which will allow them to return refreshed and raring to go.
A great way is to encourage social events after work, but make it a rule not to discuss any work matters. If you show employees that you are relaxed when you leave the office, it will encourage them to have the same mentality. It is the work-hard, play-hard way of life that you should promote in your office, in order to get the best out of those who work there. You can also aim to make the workplace a more fun and exciting place to be. Providing different activities that take employees’ minds off of stressful or tiring tasks for a short while each day will allow them to return to their desks feeling reinvigorated and which will help them to return to the task with a more positive and fresh perspective.
Another way is to schedule breaks in the working day. Make sure employees are doing something different and not working in their lunch hour. Try providing office activities or encouraging walks around the block. Short 10 or 15-minute breaks throughout the day may also help staff to stretch, relax and make personal texts or calls. If you show that you are an advocate of taking short breaks yourself, your employees will most likely mimic this behaviour and in turn not use work time to procrastinate. You could even reward employees when they hit their targets with shortened working hours on a Friday, which would lead them to want to work harder within the week.
Whatever you decide to do within your workplace, if you make sure that there is a clear division between work and non-work time, employees are likely to become more productive, positive and more likely to represent your brand well, which will ultimately lead to improved business growth and development.