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.

FEATURED VIDEO

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.

In This Article

    The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

    And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

    Gracious Gobbler

    I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

    But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

    I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

    Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

    Keep reading Show less
    Shop

    Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

    So, what's new this week?

    Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

    Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

    WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

    WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

    Codex Beauty: Exceptionally effective sustainable skin care

    Codex Beauty's line of sustainable plant-based skin care blends the science of plant biology with biotech innovations, to create clinically proven, state-of-the-art products for all skin types. They're all vegan, EWG and Leaping Bunny verified and created in collaboration with Herbal Scientist Tracy Ryan who uses concepts dating back to the 8th century leveraging plants like sea buckthorn and calendula flower. Not only are we totally crushing on the innovative formulas that are in the packaging but we're in love with the sustainable sugarcane-derived tubes as well.

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

    Keep reading Show less
    Shop

    We've watched Reese Witherspoon's Big Little Lies character go to great lengths to hide the truth, but in real life the mother of three is way more honest than her fictional character.

    She proved as much when she took to Youtube to share her real thoughts on parenting, when the right time to have children might be, and the most important thing all parents need to succeed.

    Keep reading Show less
    News