Many managers believe that “always on” employees are ideal. Company leaders adhere to the notion that when they and their staff are perpetually available, everyone is ultimately more productive. However, the reality is usually different.
Disconnecting from work during off-hours is incredibly beneficial, and can lead to increased productivity and higher-quality outputs. If you are wondering how spending less time on work tasks can yield positive results, here’s what you need to know.
You Can’t Recover If You Don’t Disconnect
When a professional is “always on,” they aren’t giving themselves a chance to detach psychologically. A constant state of needing to be available and responding to every message as if it were a crisis causes emotional exhaustion, allowing stress to become an ongoing problem.
This creates a continuous sense of pressure. Over time, it damages the way you function. It prevents you from fully recovering during your off-hours since you are never genuinely off.
In contrast, when companies allow people to be fully disconnected, employees and leaders have a chance to decompress. It removes the obligation to be available or responsive, allowing everyone to focus elsewhere and completely recuperate.
You Have to Make Disconnecting a Formal Policy
Many companies believe they don’t need to take formal steps to ensure everyone disconnects. After all, each employee has set work hours, and that should be enough, right?
In reality, having a formal policy is the best approach. Otherwise, individual managers may force expectations on their teams, both spoken and unspoken. For example, a supervisor may overtly instruct employees that taking their calls or responding to their messages after-hours is a must, creating a spoken expectation. Similarly, if a manager sends an after-hours message and then provides negative feedback when a worker doesn’t respond until their next shift, they have made their preference known.
However, even if they don’t explicitly state that replying or answering is a requirement, simply sending a worker a message during off-hours could imply the expectation exists. Employees may feel they are supposed to follow their manager’s example, and if their supervisor is working during off-hours, they have to as well.
Ideally, companies should have formal policies and procedures that support disconnecting. For example, a written policy that states workers are not expected or required to respond during off-hours can help. Similarly, limiting access to business email during off-hours may be beneficial.
Additionally, showcasing why disconnecting is critical to employee health and the company’s success is also vital. This ensures everyone understands why being “always on” is damaging to productivity, increasing the odds they will actually disconnect when they are off.
Partner with PrideStaff Atlanta!
Ultimately, being able to set work aside after-hours can actually enhance your business, not harm it. If you would like to learn more about increasing productivity and profitability, the team at PrideStaff can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace productivity expertise can benefit you.