The idea of working longer hours to deliver more work is simply wrong, as demonstrated by numerous studies. A ‘strategic stop’ in the form of after lunch naps, going to the gym, sleeping more and taking longer and more frequent vacations significantly increase performance at work. And health.
A study by consultancy Ernst & Young performed with its own employees demonstrated that every 10 extra hours of vacation that an employee received, it added an 8% increase in annual performance reviews. And these employees were also less inclined to leave the company.
The importance of rest has physiological roots. The human body is simply not programmed to work continuously. In fact, research from Florida State University show that the body reaches its peak of attention every 90 minutes and asks for some kind of relaxation soon after. Unfortunately, in our daily lives, we use the coffee, sugar and our internal chemistry in the form of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline to break this cycle and maintain a continuous state of alert. The result is known: stress and lost productivity and health.
To deal with this in a wiser and more human fashion, companies like Google, the Police Department of Los Angeles – and even ourselves here in runrun.it, facilitate and encourage these ‘strategic stops’ in the form of lounges with healthy food and more flexible vacation policies. And in your company, what could be done? Tell us.
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