Menu

Why employees deserve an extra day off this month

"Employee burnout was a problem before the coronavirus global pandemic, and now the risks of burnout are painfully acute during this crisis," says Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting.

Why employees deserve an extra day off this month

Working from home during a pandemic isn't work-life flexibility, it's survival. In an ideal world parents would be able to work while having someone else—another parent, a grandparent, a nanny or day care—watch their children.

But nothing about this time is ideal and most parents who are working from home are doing it with kids on their laps or beside them on their own laptops. We're trying to send emails while setting up distance learning and trying to take meetings after setting up class Zoom sessions. It's exhausting...and thankfully, bosses at some companies recognize this.

Last week Google announced it is giving workers a day off on May 22 "to address work-from-home-related burnout during the coronavirus pandemic," Reuters reports. Motherly is making a similar move, asking staff to take a day off on May 15.

Across the country, workers are reporting high rates of burnout and stress and companies that can provide an extra day off should do it, now.

A recent survey by Eagle Hill Consulting, conducted online by Ipsos, found that "U.S. employees are less engaged, less productive, and less positive about their career due to COVID-19." Nearly half (45%) of those polled say they're burned out.


The worst part is that 36% of those surveyed said the organization they work for isn't doing anything to help with employee burnout.

"Employee burnout was a problem before the coronavirus global pandemic, and now the risks of burnout are painfully acute during this crisis," says Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting.

"The mistake many leaders make is treating burnout as a personnel issue when it's really an organizational issue," Jezior explains. "It's incumbent on employers to create an organizational culture that supports employees during times of crisis and avoids burnout when we're not facing an emergency."

Some companies were able to weather the transition to remote work better than others, but that doesn't mean this isn't a stressful time for employees, even if they are used to working from home. Motherly's team has always been 100% remote, and while the pandemic hasn't kept staff from going to an office it has changed our lives in so many ways. As Motherly co-founder Jill Koziol told the company in a meeting on May 11, our workdays are longer now, interrupted by the needs of our children and the new responsibilities parents took on when the world shifted.

"We added May 15th as a Motherly company-wide holiday to provide our staff with some time and space to address personal and professional related burnout from the COVID-19 pandemic. " Koziol explains.

She continues: "These are intense times for us all and much of our staff have cancelled personal time off during this crisis to ensure we meet business challenges. As a token of gratitude we established this bonus holiday, closing the business for the day and creating a three day weekend, to ensure all staff take the time off to focus on family and personal care."

Koziol's plan for some extra three day weekends makes sense to fans of the four-day workweek. Robert Yuen is the CEO and co-founder of Monograph, a software company supporting architectural project management. In a recent piece for Fast Company Yuen explained that his company has always had four-day workweeks: "Our team members work 32-hour weeks, and new employees are able to decide with the team which days they'll take off."

He continues: "The four-day workweek is partially about productivity, but it's also about the health and well-being of employees. This pandemic specifically brings workers' wellness front and center with special consideration for the anxieties that are being felt across the globe right now. Allotting employees an extra day a week to take care of themselves and their families can only help personally and professionally. It is important not to forget that the team is made up of real people living real lives. Employees should be encouraged to look out for each other and themselves, and employers should play an integral role in helping staff manage their stress levels."

For mothers, especially, balancing responsibilities and work stress right now is incredibly difficult. Motherly's third annual State of Motherhood Survey results shows mothers are living in an acute state of burnout, and we know that the COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact on mamas' mental health with 74% of mothers reporting they feel mentally worse since it began.

There are so many things about this pandemic that we can't control, but giving employees time to recharge their mental health is something that companies can and should consider.

These new arrivals from the Motherly Shop are *so* good you need them all

Noodle and Boo, Mushie and Plan Toys—everything you need, mama.

Motherhood is hard work—finding great products and brands to make the journey easier doesn't have to be. Each week, we stock the Motherly Shop with brilliant new products we know you'll need and love from brands and makers that really care.

So, what's new this week?

Noodle and Boo: Holistic baby skin care

Through working with chemists who specialize in natural and holistic skin care, Noodle and Boo has developed exclusive formulas that nourish, replenish and protect especially delicate, eczema-prone and sensitive skin—including laundry detergent. Their signature, obsession-worthy scent—which is subtly sweet, pure and fresh—is the closest thing to bottling up "baby smell" we've ever found.

Mushie: Kids' dinnerware that actually looks great

We're totally crushing on Mushie's minimalist dinnerware for kids. Their innovative baby and toddler products leverage Swedish design to marry both form and function while putting safety front and center. Everything is created in soft, muted colors from BPA-free materials.

Plan Toys: Open-ended toys that last

Corralling and cleaning up the toys becomes less stressful when you bring home fewer, better, more beautiful ones. Plan Toys checks all the boxes. Made from re-purposed rubber wood, they're better for the planet as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Mushie silicone baby bib

Mushie silicone baby bib

There's no going back to cloth bibs after falling in love with this Swedish design. The pocket catches whatever misses their mouths and the BPA-free silicone is waterproof and easy to wipe down between uses.

$13

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

We're totally crushing on the soft muted colors that flow with our table aesthetics and the thoughtful high-sided design that helps babies and toddler who are learning to feed themselves.

$15

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Stocked with everything a new mama needs to care for her little one's delicate skin, Noodle and Boo's nursery essentials gift set is the perfect way to create a holistic and natural skin care routine from day one.

$45

Plan Toys doctor set 

Plan Toys doctor set

Ideal for quiet time and imaginative role play, we love the gorgeous planet-friendly doctor kit from Plan Toys. The rubber wood stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, syringe and reflex hammer pack up neat and tidy into the red cotton case should they need to dash off on a rescue mission.

$30

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Since we're buying and using hand sanitizer by the truckload these days, we're thrilled Noodle and Boo has made one we can feel good about using on little ones who cram their hands in their mouths 24/7. Not only does it kill 99.9% of germs, but it also leaves hands moisturized as well.

$10

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

A toy box isn't complete without a set of blocks—and this set is one of our new favorites. The sustainable, re-purposed wood is eco-friendly, comes at a relatively affordable price point and are certain to last well beyond multiple kids, hand-me-downs and even generations.

$30

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Because their products were developed for delicate and eczema-prone skin, Noodle and Boo's full line of skin care has become a favorite among those with sensitive skin of all ages. This set is the perfect way to pamper the entire family.

$48

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

No need to sacrifice safety or design with the sustainable dinnerware from Mushie. Their minimalist, functional dishes are perfect for serving up meals and snacks to your tablemates who might hurl it to the floor at any point. They're made in Denmark from BPA-free polypropylene plastic mamas can feel good about and dishwasher and microwave-safe as well.

$14

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

The best engaging, open-ended toys are the ones that are left out and available, inviting little (and big!) ones to play. These beautiful gem-like blocks make for addicting coffee table play for the entire family.

$30

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Energy-efficient design isn't just for grown-up real estate. This green dollhouse includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel, electric inverter, recycling bins, a rain barrel, a biofacade and a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation along with minimalist furniture we'd totally love to have in our own houses.

$250

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

It's a moment that changes a family, a mother and the world. The moment a new baby enters the world everything changes. The occasion is momentous, and more and more often photographers are embedded in mothers' birth teams, ready to preserve a family's history as it happens.

And in the age of the internet, these photos don't always stay with the family. Photographers and parents are choosing to share incredible birth images that are changing the way others see birth.

Keep reading Show less
News