In start-ups to high-growth companies to legacy organizations, leaders blindly advocate the value of chronically working long hours. “I’m so busy” is the mantra of hustlers, gladiators, and grinders. Yet, the habits of this trio of hard workers do not make them role models. The consequences can negatively influence employees’ health: type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, musculoskeletal issues, depression, anxiety, just to name a few.
Working hard is not a bad thing. However, if you continuously sacrifice time with family, friends, and yourself for “getting one more thing done,” you undermine your long-term effectiveness. Researchers from Sweden found that workers who continuously put in 60 – 80 hours a week are at a higher risk of neurological dysfunction.
Compounding the problem of poor health is the lack of work recovery. Work recovery is the downtime we use to do something that’s not work-related. The unrealistic, and often unspoken expectation, that employees put in time after the workday ends puts into motion a vicious cycle. It’s a cycle that fuels fatigue and burnout.
Companies that prioritize practices that promote well-being and productivity create a positive work culture. Here are four foundational solutions that can make a difference.
Indeed, there are other solutions to counter the deleterious effects of working too much. For example, daily exercise, a healthy diet, and even a practice of mindfulness and meditation. What’s most important is to design a solution that works for your company’s culture.
In America, we believe hard work is important to success. Success, however, is best sustained by able bodies and minds. Wise executives, owners, and managers understand that results cannot be at the cost of its employees. It is because of them. The four solutions listed above are rich in ideas that signal what your company believes in focusing on wellness to achieve extraordinary performances.
A full version of this article was published on Inc.com.
Shawn is our Director of Organizational Behavior and Workplace Trends. His second book, Work Tribes comes out in August 2019. Shawn’s first book, The Optimistic Workplace is out now. Inc. has listed him twice as one of the top leadership speakers in America.