June 17, 2022

How to encourage employees to disconnect from work?

In your workplace, how many hours a day people usually work? How many hours do you work every day? The work style today is highly competitive. Many professionals work too hard to get a raise or get to the desired position within the company. While it shows the effort people is willing to make to reach their objectives, it can also have a negative effect on their health. 

Is in this context of an increasingly intense working style that we saw the arrival of the pandemic and along came the new relevance of telecommuting. The result was even longer working hours. Even today, years after the pandemic, some companies still show certain disdain towards the right to disconnect from work. This is an issue that cannot go unnoticed by the Human Resources area. 

Consequences of overworking 

An analysis conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) around 154 countries concluded that working long hours increases the risk of a stroke in 35% and the risk of dying from ischemic heart disease in 17%. As you can see, these are not minor threats. We are talking about the possibility to die because of too much work. 

Give all that information, what could be considered working too much? The aforementioned analysis concluded that it could be excessive working for 55 hours or more per week. Having tasks that extend beyond working hours, having meeting in evenings or receiving phone calls during weekends can build up work until it becomes a risk for employees. 

How to promote employees disconnection? 

How to promote employees disconnection

1. Integrating digital disconnection to the culture 

The first step to promote the digital disconnection at work is making it a pivotal part of the organizational culture. The company must understand the importance of this as a right and a factor that not only has influence over employees’ health but also affects the company’s performance. As a consequence, the digital disconnection must be part of the internal rules and policies. 

2. Set the example within the company 

Once the digital disconnection has been made part of the company’s internal policies, it’s important to move from theory to practice. The right to disconnect from work is not something employees must ask for, but something the company has to actively promote. The organization must foster a healthy balance between work and personal life as part of the working style and philosophy. 

How can you successfully integrate the digital disconnection at all levels of the organization? In this case the leader must show the way by example. If the company’s guidelines say that disconnecting after certain hour is a right, the leaders in each area put that rule in practice and the rest of the organization will follow the example. 

This is more important than you think. For example, in average, every new employee you hire will try to adapt to the working pace of the company. If in their first week new employees notice the rest of the team keeps working beyond the established working hours, they will start doing it as well to follow the rest regardless of the company’s rules. 

3. Create an employee wellness program 

A great tool to promote digital disconnection in an organization are the employee wellness programs. These are basically a set of actions that can be applied to meet certain needs employees have. A type of program that can help you are workshops to show people how to successfully balance professional life and personal life. 

These are some of the aspects you need to focus on: How to stop thinking about work after certain hour? What is the importance of keeping balance between work and family? How to handle a phone call or a task outside working hours? The results of these type of initiatives are more productive that you think. 

These actions must be adopted and put into practice as part of the regular working style in the organization. Once this is part of the company, it becomes part of the employee value proposition. In the medium and long term, this turns into a benefit that employees can attest and promote outside the organization. It also helps to create a good employer branding and reduce the turnover rate. 

These are some of the actions you can take to promote the digital disconnection. Keep in mind that this is currently a key issue for modern organizations. Here you are dealing with the company’s performance and the health of your employees, so it’s not exactly a minor aspect. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.  

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