Home » Employee Well-Being » Why Companies Are Giving Time Off to Fight Burnout
Employee Well-Being

Why Companies Are Giving Time Off to Fight Burnout

Over the summer Nike gave its corporate employees an extra week off to prioritize their mental health — nonprofits like Mental Health America and the National Alliance on Mental Illness did the same.

This past summer, sports apparel giant Nike closed its offices and gave corporate employees an additional week of time off in order to focus on wellbeing.

“Our senior leaders are all sending a clear message: Take the time to unwind, destress, and spend time with your loved ones. Do not work,” wrote senior manager Matt Marrazzo on LinkedIn.

A pair of mental health nonprofits did the same. Both Mental Health America (MHA) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) gave employees an additional week of paid time off to prioritize their mental health, acknowledging that it has been a difficult 18 months living during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognition

“When companies recognize that employees are people first, and that those people have been through a tough year and a half, that makes employees feel seen. We know from our research that feeling seen and validated can go a long way toward preventing burnout,” Schroeder Stribling, president and CEO at Mental Health America, said.

Earlier in 2021, a Mental Health America survey of 5,000 employees across 17 industries found that most employees were experiencing signs of burnout. Eighty-three percent said they felt emotionally drained by their work.

A time of change

On top of that, the majority of employees surveyed said they were seeking new employment opportunities. Over 56 percent reported that they spent time looking for a new position, compared to 40 percent of respondents in 2018.

“Employers that want to prevent rapid turnover and address burnout, which should be all employers, should take note of these company-wide mental health breaks,” Stribling said. “They should be thinking about how they can create a workplace that offers a mentally healthy environment and psychologically safe place for employees.”

In 2019, Mental Health America created the Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health, a certification program to recognize employers that are committed to creating mentally healthy workplaces. The program not only recognizes excellent workplaces but also educates companies about what they need to do in order to create workplaces of mental health excellence.

Next article