by Lynette Silva
What does it mean to be human? A significant part of being human requires shutting off. We need deep sleep for our brains to clear out all the muck, process the day and file it away in long-term memory, and reset for the next day.
Humans need to recharge.
France codified the need to recharge into law, making the “right to disconnect” a requirement for companies with more than 50 employees. (I recommend this post by Tim Leberecht on “Is the ‘Right to Disconnect’ a Human Right?”)
Research on the business impact of making time to recharge abounds:
- More positive employee experience: The IBM/Globoforce Employee Experience Index report (citing findings from a global survey of 23,000 employees in 45 countries) found that 77% of workers report a more positive employee experience when they get a chance to recharge when not at work (vs. 42% when they don’t get a chance to recharge).
- Better performance: An Ernst & Young internal study of their own employees found that each additional 10 hours of vacation resulted in an 8% improvement in year-end performance ratings from supervisors.
- Higher retention: The same Ernst & Young study found frequent vacationers were less likely to leave.
- Increased productivity: Lack of sleep translates to a lost work performance of $63.2 billion in the United States.
For me, it’s a bit hard to believe we’re already nearly a full month into 2017. January has been a whirlwind of projects, meetings, inspirations, learnings – all wonderful, yet certainly happening at a rapid pace. I’ve been able to sustain that pace because of my end-of-2016 vacation. A near-total disconnect not just from work, but from the routine of my usual day-to-day. A chance to truly recharge. (And pet ambassador cheetah, Velvet, on safari in South Africa. Who knew cheetah purr?)
How does your organization or your supervisor support your need to recharge? What steps do you take to shut down and restore yourself?