Burnout has always threatened the health of professionals, but the pandemic has brought this issue to the forefront of workplace discussions.
Now, as the U.S. seemingly slips back into alert-mode after a brief moment of relief, burnout is solidifying its place in workers’ lives. Not only are employees working more than ever, they are also juggling childcare responsibilities or even grief due to losing loved ones.
Some have even left their old jobs behind in order to maintain some semblance of wellbeing. Because of this, companies are using new methods to address burnout.
For instance, companies like LinkedIn, Bumble and Mozilla have started giving workers a complete week off, without checking any work-related emails, so when they return to the office they are truly rested and not playing catch-up.
“Everyone was just getting increasing Zoom fatigue and feeling the stress and burnout of the year that we’ve all had, and increasing difficulty separating work and home,” said Tariq Shaukat, president of Bumble. “So we started thinking: What do we do? Do we give people more time off?”
To start, Bumble instituted “focus Friday” which allowed employees to be free of meetings, email and all other work-related messages on one Friday each month. When it was clear that that was not enough, the firm tested out a company-wide week off over the summer.
The success from this trial led the company to adopt a new policy where Bumble will shut down its offices for two weeks each year.