Why Employee Wellbeing Days Are a Win-Win for Employees and Employers

Why Employee Wellbeing Days Are a Win-Win for Employees and Employers

Many organizations hosting days of rest or employee wellbeing days see increased retention and job satisfaction, not to mention happy and healthy employees.

Why Employee Wellbeing Days Are a Win-Win for Employees and Employers

In the middle of a workday, Cooleaf’s Senior Director of Customer Success Jessica White found herself at a local coffee shop splurging on coffee and baked treats, catching up on personal to-do’s rather than Cooleaf work. Later on, she planned to go to a nearby park.

Cooleaf’s Director Sales Matt Smith had his bike and Lake Ontario all to himself.

Customer Success Manager Ashley Thompson was at Garden Chef’s camp, where she’s worked with children for years. They made pesto and smoothies and played in the dirt.

No one at Cooleaf was online. Instead, Cooleaf teammates spent their workday catching up with friends, doing house chores, exploring the outdoors, and resting. It was their quarterly day of rest, a wellness initiative to promote healthy work-life balance.

"As a working mom of three, I don't ever get me time or the luxury of just slowing down and enjoying some peace and quiet,” Jess said. Having a Day of Rest gave her time back to accomplish more around the house.

“I think having that life stress lifted a little allows you to refocus and build some confidence and momentum to hit the ground running when you return to work.”

In a world inundated by notifications and an “always on” mentality, a required day of rest is an industry disruptor. Companies like Linkedin, Nike, and Netflix also prioritize employee wellbeing with mental health days to combat employee burnout head-on.

Following the increased worker burnout and stresses from the Pandemic, C-suite leaders are prioritizing health initiatives. About 88% of human resources professionals think mental wellbeing resources like wellness programs and days of rest support employee health and boost productivity.

In fact, organizations are seeing employee wellbeing days as a win-win for their business and their people.

Why a day of rest matters

Hustle culture normalized lunch routinely taken at our desks or emails answered round the clock, but as humans, we can’t work around the clock. Productivity diminishes without regular breaks to recoup. Rest is productive, and people-first organizations can acknowledge this by incorporating days of rest company-wide.

Much like rest is important for physical health, stamina, and growth, we need rest for mental wellbeing too.

Take the first step towards a thriving work culture – download our Employee Wellbeing Checklist.

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6 Reasons why employee wellbeing days are important

Employee wellness programs like on-site yoga, free workout app memberships, and incentivized fitness activities not only encourage everyone to prioritize self-care but removes time and cost as reasons not to try in the first place. A required mental wellbeing day can encourage your people similarly, and help them prioritize mental health.

Here are 6 reasons why you and your team should consider hosting one soon.

1. Supports employee wellbeing

We experienced this first-hand at Cooleaf: despite unlimited vacation as an employee benefit, employee surveys told us our people needed more incentive to take time off. We started quarterly rest days as part of our workplace wellbeing initiatives— this also includes using the Cooleaf app for workplace wellness!

(Yes, the Cooleaf crew does use our own app for fitness and wellbeing activities like step challenges and nutritional recipe sharing.)

Leadership really emphasized a zero work rest day and encouraged everyone to share what they did with their time off to normalize investing in their personal lives.

“Thinking about individuals holistically and not just as worker bees is such a big part of our mission,” said Sarah Lipovsky on the Sales team. “Letting us know we are truly supported and valued means a lot.”

2. Builds strong company culture

Having happy, healthy employees not only creates a productive work environment but fosters unity and employee engagement too. When your people feel taken care of, they show up for you and your team members, building a positive company culture.

3. Proactively fights burnout

Following intense burnout brought on by the Pandemic and subsequent changes in the workplace, many organizations are rethinking how they support their people’s health and stress management. Everyone copes with stress in their own way and signs of burnout might be hard to identify. Often employees might miss or not identify burnout in themselves.

Burnout takes time to properly recover from, and results in employee absenteeism, low employee retention, and unmotivated workers. Untreated, burnout can also lead to further health issues, like depression, heart disease, and insomnia.

A rest day proactively fights burnout and encourages employees to practice more mindfulness with their stress and mental wellbeing. Making it a zero-workday is not only an incredible employee perk but it promotes a healthy work-life balance.

4. Increases employee morale

A well-being day shows your people that you put the wellbeing of employees first. Investing in your employee experience like this promotes employee job satisfaction and helps your people find deeper value in their roles beyond work.

Cooleaf saw firsthand how giving our people a required day off once a quarter positively impacted their approach to work and the organization!

5. Increases workplace productivity and creativity

Burnout and stress can impact workplace happiness and productivity. According to Betterup, employees experiencing burnout might feel less enthusiastic about their roles, which leads to a downturn in performance and inevitably your bottom line.

A day off gives your people an opportunity to focus on themselves and their needs, whether that’s catching up with personal errands, family, or having more time for regular exercise and hobbies.

No one can focus on work 100 percent of the time, and a much-needed break might just be what your people need to feel refreshed and attack a work challenge with renewed vigor.

"Taking care of the people that serve you is how you take care of the people they serve. Our leadership shows that taking the time to rest and reset is so important that they make it a holiday every quarter,” said Cooelaf Business Development Manager Juliet Kamau. “That makes it an authentic experience that we can share with those outside of our organization."

Your path to a healthier, happier life begins here. Download our Health and Wellness Calendar + Activity Guide now.

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6. Attracts top talent

Increased job satisfaction and employee engagement attract potential job seekers, especially Millenial and Gen Z workers who prioritize positive company culture. Plus, the happier your people are, the more likely they’ll recommend friends or talent within their network to join your team.

Ready to host an employee wellbeing day at your organization?

There’s no one way to start employee wellbeing days or days of rest for your company. For example, Cooleaf hosts one full day each business quarter, whereas Nike commits to a week-long wellbeing day.

If your entire organization can’t take the whole time off together, you can stagger it or leave it to an individual decision. Just make sure a wellbeing day off is required for each person.

We find that leadership should commit and promote a zero-work day for everyone to help team members adopt the right attitude. And encouraging everyone to share what they did later, like on Cooleaf’s app or any communication channel, also creates a sense of connection and normalcy to your new initiative.

If you’re interested in hosting an employee wellbeing day and want to use Cooleaf to help, let us know. We’re here to walk you through it!

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