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The Importance of Resting

Rest is important to recharge

Rest is incredibly important to your body’s health. As one Inc article points out, many studies have proven the myriad benefits of rest. Rest reduces stress, gives you the opportunity to be more active, works against the many detriments of a sedentary lifestyle, and boosts your immune system. It enhances your sleep quality and can according to some studies even add years to your life.

Beyond the physical benefits of rest, though, rest also plays a big role in the health of your organisation. Employees who take time away from work to rest come back to work with more mental energy, creativity, and productivity, as well as even sharper memories, the Inc article goes on to say.

Given all this, it’s clear to see that having a rested team is pretty important. So how do you keep tabs on your employees’ restfulness and do your part to enhance it? Here are a few ways to identify whether or not your team members are getting enough rest, and how to help them enjoy better rest, more often.

What is Resting?

Firstly, it’s important to understand what exactly rest is. It’s not just sleeping. A basic definition of “rest’ could be “to cease work or movement in order to relax, sleep or recover strength.”

There are seven “types” of rest:

  • Physical, which is most commonly thought of as “rest” and applies to napping or sleeping

  • Mental, which is simply any type of rest that allows your brain to slow down or “shut off”

  • Sensory, which gives our senses a break by unplugging from sensory overload caused by technology, loud noises, etcetera

  • Creative, which isn’t really taking a break from creative activities, but instead is more focused on refilling your creative well by getting in touch with spaces or activities that inspire you

  • Emotional, which allows you to express your emotions without constantly needing to manage them internally

  • Social, which takes you away from social situations that drain or exhaust you

  • And, lastly, spiritual, which takes place when you connect with your spiritual side or something greater than yourself via practices such as prayer or meditation.

The Consequences of Not Getting Enough Rest

Above, we briefly touched on the benefits of getting enough rest and the importance of rest to your organisation, but what are the consequences of not getting enough rest? Turth to be told - the consequences can be dire.

Some of the more minor consequences include fatigue and exhaustion, irritability, mood changes and difficulty focusing and remembering. However, the major consequences are much more dangerous; they include health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, obesity, depression and immunity issues.

For your organisation, these physical consequences result in things like employees taking more sick days, high employee turnover, a lack in productivity and quality, and a general, overall poor working environment.

Are Your Employees Rested?

Just like everyone experiences stress, everyone also experiences restlessness, or a lack of overall rest, from time to time, and in different periods of life. However, a chronic lack of rest leads to the consequences described above.

One of my team member too tired

You can keep tabs on your employees’ rest levels by looking for certain signs.

Are your team members…

  • Visually fatigued or exhausted?

  • Expressing frequent feelings of worry or anxiety?

  • Appearing or acting overwhelmed?

  • Having difficulty concentrating on their tasks?

  • Exhibiting frequent mood changes or mood swings?

  • Generally irritable or angry?

  • Showing signs of depression?

If you see any of the above, it may be a clue that your team members are not getting sufficient rest.

Common Sources of a Lack of Rest

Your team members’ restlessness may not stem from the office environment and therefore they may not be issues you can help with. They may have private life issues that are making things difficult for them, or they live unhealthy lifestyles that result in a large degree of restlessness.

How to measure stress in your team

However, if you know that your team is dealing with excessive workloads, work that isn’t engaging or challenging, and a lack of social support within the organisation, these are all issues that you can actively work to remedy.

What to do when your team is restless?

If you’re noticing your team’s restlessness and think that you can assist, there are a few things you can do.

  • Encourage your team to get sufficient sleep.

This is easier said than done, as you can’t really monitor your team’s activity once they leave the office. However, you can encourage your team to work hours that better facilitate a healthy sleeping schedule. Don’t send emails or texts after work hours. Make sure their schedules leave them time for their other, outside-of-work responsibilities.

  • Encourage your team to lead healthy lifestyles.

This is another one that’s difficult to do, as you can’t tell your employees what not to eat in the office or that they should sign up for a gym membership. However, there are small ways you can facilitate a healthier lifestyle. Maybe you offer a gym program for your employees or you stock your office kitchen with healthy meals and snacks. Maybe you plan sporting activities as outings for your team.

  • Support employee development.

But rest isn’t only about your physical health. Your mental and creative rest are important too. If you’re noticing that productivity is starting to drop off and that employees seem bored and unmotivated, it might be a sign that they need a little mental and creative rest. Consider providing a little of that creative inspiration and outfit them with the resources needed to learn new skills and refill their creative wells. Organizing workshops in the office is one easy way to do this (be sure to check out Flow’s workshops for options!).

Flow workshop to learn new skills

  • Encourage employees to take time off.

All employees should be taking full advantage of their vacation days and personal days off. Encourage them to do so and make it clear that they will in no way be penalised for taking their much-deserved time away from the office. On a day-to-day basis, encourage employees to take lunch breaks and shorter breaks to give their minds a quick chance to rest — whether that be through a short walk or just having a snack in the break room (with no tech, preferably).

  • Encourage employees to log off.

In addition to taking time away from work, employees should also be logging off their work-related tech (and preferably all tech). Instate a “no emails after X o’ clock” policy. Don’t send emails during weekends or holidays. Encourage your employees to fully unplug from work when they’re not at work.

  • Allow flexibility in working hours and locations.

Some employees just aren’t cut out for working a 9-to-5 job in an office environment. For those employees to really be their most productive, creative and well-rested, they may need a different schedule or a different working location altogether. Try to be flexible regarding these aspects of your organisation, where you can, to really allow these employees to reach their full potential.

  • Plan some social activities.

A team isn’t a team unless that team really knows each other well. Make sure your team has a chance to bond, through social activities that allow them to turn off their work personalities for a few hours and get to know each other as humans rather than colleagues. Just be sure that these social activities are planned during work hours and that they don’t take away from your employees’ rest time away from the office


Team building activities are important

Preventative Measures

But it’s always better to prevent restlessness before it happens. You can help prevent your employees’ restlessness symptoms by being proactive and preventing the restlessness ahead of time. In addition to implementing all of the ideas above, you can also place a greater focus on mental health in the workplace — and Flow can help.

Flow at Work

Meditation station in your company

Flow can help you prioritise your team’s mental health, giving your team members tools they can use to cope better with the stressors and struggles of daily life. Flow at Work is a corporate programme that combines VR meditation with video guides, mobile tools, a web portal and workshops, to help your team relax, wherever and whenever. When employees use the Flow meditation tools, they’re able to recharge and rest in as little as four minutes, as they’re transported to Icelandic nature scenes and a calm environment, for a greater sense of calm, quicker. Our partners report employees with reduced stress, higher-quality sleep, increased focus and healthier relationships.

So, are you ready to upgrade your company culture and empower your employees to boost their mental health? Explore our customisable subscription programme for Flow at Work, loved by 50-plus companies to date.


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