As a bit of a follow up to a recent post, I found this article to be spot on.
“Although practices such as yoga and meditation can be beneficial, workers have to feel like it’s okay to take an hour out of their day to do them. “If you, as an individual employee, want to take a mental-health day, but the culture of the organization is not supportive of that, and there’s fear of retribution or backlash, then it’s hard for an individual employee to exercise that benefit,” Nicole Mason, the president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, says. Yoga hour is great, she adds, but child-care credits and flexible or reduced working hours would be even better.
Instead of providing stress-reduction workshops, Pfeffer told me via email, “employers should reorganize the work environment to, as much as possible, prevent stress. We have come to see stress and burnout as some inevitable condition of work—but they are not. We can design jobs and work environments to reduce them, and then we would not need to try and remedy the problems work causes in the first place.””
I think the headline really speaks for the entire article. We can get all the self-care tips in the world, do yoga on the regular, eat well, and everything else, but if we work in a place that regularly requires 60 hour work weeks, ridiculous deadlines, and doesn’t really give us some control over work that we enjoy, that’s still going to be a recipe for burnout.
If you have any employees that report to you, go read the article and consider what it is that you are doing with your own workplace. Are they headed for burnout? Do you care enough to make changes to avoid that? Or is that “just the way it is” in your industry? If it is, ask yourself why it’s that way? Is there actually a legitimate reason for it? Or are you just so engrained in it that you can’t imagine rethinking the way your industry works?