Recharge, relax, and revitalise from work: the importance of self-care
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Table of contents:
"Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us."
—Maya Angelou, Author of Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now
As employers, it is crucial to reflect upon Maya Angelou's powerful words and recognise the profound truth they hold. In the relentless pursuit of productivity, you might often overlook the fundamental need for your workers to have a day of rest—a sanctuary from constant challenges and demands.
The American Psychological Association surveyed 1,501 workers, and guess what? A whopping 79% of them reported feeling burnout in their current jobs. It's a wake-up call for companies to start putting worker well-being at the top of their priority list and find ways to tackle burnout symptoms head-on.
You need to take good care of your staff. You must explore the effects of stress and burnout on their performance to understand their need to relax at work.
By delving into the consequences, you can better comprehend the urgency for your staff to rest and relax from work. You will also know the right wellness programs and activities their minds and bodies require.
As you read on, you will discover the effects of work stress on your staff and the benefits of relaxation techniques in the office. Of course, we will also share great tips for incorporating an ergonomic and relaxing work environment.
Understanding employees’ need to rest and relax
We will delve into the importance of rest and relaxation for your workers' overall well-being. When you recognise the significance of downtime from work, you can foster an environment that supports and encourages adequate rest.
Effects of stress and burnout on employee performance
Decreased productivity and efficiency
When your staff are burnt out and have no time to rest and relax, their ability to perform at their best diminishes. They often struggle to concentrate, experience difficulty focusing at work, and exhibit a decline in productivity. As a result, projects may take longer to complete, deadlines may be missed, and overall efficiency within the team can suffer. Giving them time to rest and relax improves their efficiency.
Increased absenteeism and a higher likelihood of sick leaves
Stress is closely linked to increased absenteeism and a higher likelihood of workers taking sick leaves. When individuals are physically and emotionally exhausted with no time to rest and relax, their immune system weakens. This makes them more susceptible to illnesses. Moreover, the mental and emotional toll of burnout can lead your staff to feel the need to take time off to rest, further impacting the team's cohesion and morale. Hence, allow them to relax and avoid pushing them to their limits.
Poor decision-making and impaired judgement
Under the strain of stress, workers often experience impaired judgement and compromised decision-making abilities. They may struggle to assess situations accurately, leading to suboptimal choices and potential negative consequences for the organisation. This decline in decision-making can also hinder teamwork and collaboration, as employees may become more prone to conflicts and misunderstandings. Yes, that's one of the consequences of having no time to rest and relax.
Higher risk of errors and accidents in the workplace
Fatigued and overwhelmed employees are more prone to making errors and causing workplace accidents. Having inadequate time to rest and relax can impair cognitive function and attention to detail, increasing the likelihood of mistakes and accidents that could have severe consequences for individuals' safety and the organisation's reputation.
If you notice these effects taking place in your staff's workplace, don't ignore them. Take time to read our blog about employee wellness programs and learn how helpful they are in eradicating the effects of insufficient time to rest and relax.
Benefits of relaxation and recharging for mental and physical health
Taking the time to rest and relax is not just a luxury but a necessity for maintaining optimal mental and physical health. Here are some of the remarkable benefits that come with prioritising relaxation:
Reduced stress levels and improved overall well-being
Engaging in activities that promote time to relax helps to lower stress hormone levels and promote a sense of calm and well-being. Remember that your workers vary from one another, and each of them needs to figure out how to relax at work when stressed according to their individual needs.
Increased energy and vitality
When we allow ourselves time to rest and relax, our energy levels get a much-needed boost. So, taking a break from the constant work allows your employees' bodies to replenish energy, leaving them feeling revitalised and more capable of tackling challenges.
Enhanced focus, concentration, and cognitive function
Relaxation practices such as mindfulness, meditation, or simply disconnecting from work-related activities can significantly improve focus and concentration. By giving your workers a chance to rest and relax, you enhance their ability to think clearly, make sound decisions, and solve problems more effectively.
Improved mood and emotional resilience
Taking time to rest and relax has a positive impact on your employees' emotional well-being. It helps reduce feelings of irritability, anxiety, and burnout while increasing their capacity to handle stress. When you foster emotional resilience by allowing them to rest and relax, your staff can deal with challenges with a more positive mindset and maintain healthier relationships with colleagues.
Better sleep quality and sleep patterns
Giving oneself enough time to rest and relax plays a crucial role in promoting good sleep. If your staff can establish healthy sleep patterns and allow sufficient downtime before bedtime, it can lead to improved sleep quality, leaving them feeling refreshed and more alert during the day.
Strengthened immune system and improved physical health
Chronic stress and burnout can weaken your staff's immune system, making them more susceptible to illnesses. By incorporating practices that let them rest and relax, you can help boost their immune system, lessen the risk of illness, and promote overall physical health.
Reduced muscle tension and alleviation of chronic pain
Stress and burnout at work often manifest in physical symptoms, such as muscle tension and chronic pain. Engage your workers in techniques that allow them to rest and relax. These can help relieve muscle tension and alleviate pain, improving their physical comfort.
Increased creativity and problem-solving abilities
Taking time to rest and relax provides the mental space needed for creativity to flourish. Advise your workers to relax and take a rest from work-related tasks and allow their minds to wander. It can lead to new insights, fresh perspectives, and innovative problem-solving approaches.
In a world that often glorifies constant productivity, it's essential to recognise the immense benefits that come from giving your workers permission to rest and relax. With this, you can create an environment that values their well-being.
Now is the time to know how to relax from work with the help of ergonomics.
Incorporating ergonomics for a relaxing work environment
Creating a relaxing work environment goes beyond just providing comfortable seating and aesthetically pleasing decor. It also involves incorporating ergonomics, which focuses on designing the workspace to promote physical comfort and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal issues.
The following section will not yet discuss the tips to relax at work (We'll get there!), but a basic checklist that can help you assess your employees' workspace ergonomics.
The selected checklist items here support your workers' chance to rest and relax, but you can check all the essential ergonomic considerations on our blog about office ergonomics.
Ergonomic tips for creating a comfortable and supportive workspace
- Create a spacious work environment that allows workers to set up their workstations comfortably and ergonomically. This allows them to relax by reducing physical strain during extended periods of work.
- Foster a clean and well-maintained working space, free from clutter and distractions. A tidy environment contributes to a sense of calm and order, allowing employees to focus on their tasks without unnecessary stress or mental clutter.
- Prioritise good air quality within the room by ensuring proper ventilation, humidity control, and access to fresh air. Clean and fresh air lets them relax by making employees feel more energised and focused.
- Maintain a comfortable temperature in the room to create a soothing and relaxing environment. By avoiding extremes of heat or cold, your employees can work without discomfort, enabling them to concentrate, rest, and relax while working.
- Provide adequate lighting, including a combination of natural daylight and appropriate artificial light, to support efficient and accurate task performance. Proper lighting optimises time to pause and rest, even for a few minutes.
- Install blinds at the windows to allow your staff to control the amount of light entering the room. This empowers individuals to adjust their environment according to their preferences, helping them create an atmosphere conducive to relaxation and focus.
- Offer ergonomic office chairs in good condition, with adjustable seat height, depth, and low back support, allowing employees to find a comfortable seating position that promotes relaxation and reduces physical strain.
- Ensure chairs support proper feet placement, hip and knee alignment, and provide lower back support, contributing to a relaxed posture and enhanced comfort. This allows employees to have a quick, comfortable rest.
- Provide sufficient leg space under the work surface, allowing for comfortable and mobile leg movement. This helps their bodies relax and prevent discomfort from cramped postures.
- Supply screens of at least 19 inches in size, with adjustable contrast and brightness, and without shiny surfaces. Such screens help your staff relax their eyes and maintain focus.
- Position screens at arm's length from the eyes and at eye level. It lets them maintain the correct neck position, which helps them relax while working.
Ergonomics is worth investing in, but you have to be knowledgeable about it. Don't just study it on your own. Let yourself and your staff undergo Ergonomic Trainings facilitated by professionals. Book your training session now!
Implementing employee wellness programs
Employee wellness programs are comprehensive initiatives you can implement to promote the well-being of your staff. They typically include a range of activities, resources, and support systems designed to help employees lead healthier lifestyles, manage stress, take a rest and relax, and achieve a better work-life balance.
Wellness programs can teach your employees how to be relaxed at work or how to maintain calmness amid the hustle and bustle.
Examples of relaxation-focused initiatives within wellness programs
- Meditation and mindfulness sessions: Offering guided meditation or mindfulness training sessions can help your employees develop techniques to manage stress, rest and relax, increase focus, and promote emotional well-being.
- Yoga and stretching exercises: Providing yoga classes or incorporating stretching exercises into the workplace can help your employees improve flexibility, relieve muscle tension, and promote relaxation.
- Stress management workshops: Conducting workshops that educate employees about stress management strategies, such as deep breathing exercises, time management strategies, and coping mechanisms, can empower them to better handle workplace stressors.
These are the ways to recharge that need dedication, time, and effort. Encourage your employees to participate in these initiatives.
Benefits of wellness programs in boosting employee morale and satisfaction
- Enhanced employee morale: Wellness programs demonstrate that you care about the well-being of your employees, which can improve morale and foster a positive work environment.
- Increased job satisfaction: When your workers have access to resources and support that address their well-being or that support their time to rest and relax, they are more likely to experience work satisfaction, leading to higher engagement and productivity levels.
- Improved work-life balance: Wellness programs provide a supportive framework for your staff to prioritise taking time to rest and relax as part of achieving a better work-life balance. It reduces burnout and enhances overall job satisfaction.
- Reduced stress levels: Relaxation-focused initiatives within wellness programs equip workers with effective techniques to relax at work, helping them cope with pressures and reducing the adverse impact of work stress on their physical and mental health.
- Enhanced employee retention: By investing in employee well-being, you can increase loyalty and retention rates, as they are more likely to stay with an employer that prioritises their health, happiness, and time to rest and relax. By just supporting their chance to rest and relax, you can foster worker loyalty.
- Attraction of top talent: Offering comprehensive wellness programs, including initiatives that allow your staff to rest and relax, can serve as a competitive advantage in attracting and recruiting highly skilled and talented individuals who prioritise work-life balance and well-being.
How to relax from work: tips to share with your employees
Practise deep breathing exercises
Deep breathing exercises can help your workers rest and relax at work by focusing on slow, deep breaths, which can activate the body's relaxation response, reduce stress, and promote a sense of calm and mental clarity.
Engage in physical activity
Aside from giving them the opportunity to rest and relax, allowing your staff to engage in physical activity can also help release endorphins, reduce muscle tension, and improve mood, providing a natural and effective way to relax both the body and mind.
Take regular breaks
Taking regular breaks throughout the workday allows staff to step away from their tasks, rest their minds, and recharge. Short breaks, even for a few minutes, can help prevent mental fatigue, improve focus and productivity, and provide a much-needed opportunity to relax and rejuvenate.
Disconnect from technology
Encouraging workers to disconnect from work-related technology, such as emails and notifications, during non-working hours allows them to create boundaries and fully disconnect mentally. By stepping away from constant connectivity, employees can relax, engage in leisure activities, and restore their energy levels.
Engage in hobbies and interests
Encouraging workers to engage in hobbies and interests outside of work provides an outlet for relaxation and enjoyment. Pursuing activities they are passionate about, whether it's painting, playing a musical instrument, or gardening, can be a form of rest.
Encouraging your staff to practise mindfulness can help them cultivate present-moment awareness, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being. Mindfulness practices allow them to rest and relax, increase self-awareness, and improve focus.
Encouraging staff to prioritise self-care activities helps them prioritise their well-being and relaxation. When you allow them to take care of their physical, emotional, and mental needs, they can better manage stress, maintain balance, and approach work with greater resilience.
Set boundaries with work-related tasks
Letting your workers set clear boundaries with work-related tasks, such as defining specific work hours or designating technology-free zones, helps them establish a healthier work-life balance and protect their personal time to relax and rest.
Utilise vacation leaves and time off
Encourage them to utilise their vacation leaves and time off, as it is essential for rest and relaxation aside from the ways to relax at work. Taking planned breaks from work allows them to disconnect completely, recharge their energy, and engage in activities that bring them joy and fulfilment.
Providing relaxation and recharging opportunities
Dedicated relaxation spaces provide your workers with a tranquil area to escape work pressures or simply to rest and relax. Advise them to take regular breaks and physical activity; it allows them to refresh their minds.
Furthermore, allowing them to take regular breaks is crucial for employee well-being and productivity. Regular breaks help them rest and relax, improving focus and preventing burnout.
Elevating employee well-being and work success through relaxation
Relaxation and recharging play a vital role in employee well-being. Taking the time to rest and relax allows your workers to release stress, reduce fatigue, and prevent burnout. It promotes mental clarity and rejuvenates energy levels, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
When your workers get to rest and relax, it brings important business benefits and a positive return on investment (ROI). Relaxation reduces stress, leading to higher employee morale and improved productivity. It also helps prevent burnout, reducing turnover and the costs linked to hiring and training new employees.
Staff relaxation fosters a positive work culture, boosting satisfaction and loyalty. It can lower healthcare costs by promoting better overall health. Basically, giving opportunities to your workers to rest and relax has long-term financial advantages for your company.
Surprise your employees with awesome wellness programs that can help them take some rest and enjoy the time to relax. Message us to learn about our Wellness Event Organisation today.