From Burnout to Balance: Navigating Employee Wellness in 2021

Taking a step back from traditional office settings and routines might actually be a step forward.

COVID-19 forever altered our workplaces. Lax business attire, e-learning and work-ready living rooms have become second nature. However, there’s another pandemic-era trend that has grown in importance: prioritizing employee mental health.


Since the pandemic, employee burnout has become a hot topic. According to AdAge, over 60% of marketers felt less creative in their work over the previous year and more than 70% say they’ve experienced burnout. Employees have become increasingly vocal about their struggles, causing companies to look at wellbeing through a different lens. Recently, brands like Nike, Bumble and Hootsuite have dedicated entire weeks to employee wellness.

Not every company can shut down operations for a week, but there are ways for business leaders to advocate for work-life balance without cutting into productivity. Even a smaller shop like Candor has taken steps to better navigate employee wellness. Read about them below.

 

Invest in Team Outings

Stepping outside of the office provides many benefits for companies! Boosts in team bonding, trust and productivity are just a few upsides to taking time away from the desk with your team.

Candor invests in quarterly outings to give our team a breath of fresh air. We recently took a trip to Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District for an afternoon on the water. A large “dragon boat” allowed the entire company to test their synchronicity while sharing many laughs along the way. In the spring, our crew visited Camp Trivera, where zip lining, team bonding and even a faux product pitch similar to “Shark Tank” produced sparks of creativity back at the office.

Outdoor adventures allow space for co-workers to let their guard down and create stronger work relationships. Great memories are just a plus.

 

Enliven Company Culture

It’s easy to be on autopilot when it’s business as usual. However, this can cause decision fatigue and stagnation. If a business is stuck in a rut, it may be helpful to break the routine. The results? Increased focus, improved memory and opportunities to look at problems from a different perspective.

Every week, Candorites participate in “Fun Friday.” Activites vary—we’ve had everything from office “Jeopardy!” to “Two Truths and a Lie,” and even “Guess Whose Fingers.” Plot twist: it’s usually hosted through Zoom! The 20 minutes of collaboration generates a sense of enthusiasm and sets the tone for the rest of the day.

 

PTO Pays Off

Paid time off does not have to be limited to vacations and doctor appointments. We all could occasionally use a self-care day. Encouraging your employees to use PTO for a mental breather will show your company cares. Don’t know where to start? Lead by example.

PTO is for managers, too! By taking time away from work, business leaders communicate the value and importance of work-life balance to employees. In turn, this will create a company culture that emphasizes wellness.

 

WFH (OO)—Work From Home (Or Office)

Working from home has its benefits—flexible schedules, comfortable office setups, less commute stress, the works. In addition, a recent Stanford study found home workspaces generally increased productivity by 13%.

Another survey reported productivity decreasing when staffers started working from home in 2020. At Candor, we find a hybrid workplace is a great opportunity for both increased productivity and company morale. You don’t want to wear pants one day? Fine—but please stay at home when you make that choice.

Advocating for work-life balance can ensure employee satisfaction, which increases retention, and set a company apart. As it turns out, taking a step back from traditional office structures might actually be a step forward.

When encountering the unexpected both on the course and in the office, don’t be afraid to shift in strategy. The results may surprise you.  

 

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