0 Comments | Jul 20, 2010

Focused Relaxation – A Business Imperative

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It’s the busy season here at Zoescent as Vacation Wellness™ demand continues to surprise even us, and the demand on our staff’s time continues to rise right along with it.  There’s a mountain of work to accomplish, and not a great deal of time available to get it all done.

Conventional wisdom would say that now is not the time for anyone at Zoescent to take a vacation.

However, with apologies to Mark Twain, we try not to spend too much time trapped in majority thinking – it’s responsible for such evils as witch hunts and mullets.

We don’t want busy, overworked, stressed out, tired employees.  We want productive, engaged employees.  There’s a huge difference.

It may sound counterintuitive, but peak season is the most important time to look after employee life balance, for one extremely good reason:  focused relaxation produces sharper employees, who in turn produce better results and offer our customers a more professional, courteous, competent, and satisfying experience.

Slowing down gets us there faster.

Our folks are brilliant.  But they’ll never remain brilliant if we burn them out.

So we locked the doors and cleared the calendar for a long weekend to enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and paragliding in the Tetons near Jackson, Wyoming.

Fresh mountain air, incredible scenery, and physical exertion are a miraculous combination to alleviate stress and restore mental, physical, and spiritual clarity.

And a little adrenaline does wonders as well – if you’ve never tried paragliding, it’s certainly worth adding to your “bucket list.”

What’s our formula?  It’s fairly simple.

  1. Make time off a priority.  It’s a necessity just like food, water, and exercise, and your employees need to see YOU taking a vacation yourself, boss!  It sounds scary, but rest easy.  It really works to improve your bottom line, as our case study shows.
  2. Do something physical.  Exercise reduces cortisol (stress hormone) levels and increases endorphins, resulting in the feeling of well-being that follows physical activity.  Exercise is just as important for your brain as it is for your body.
  3. Get away.  Go someplace fun.  Don’t fool yourself into “staycationing” – it’s not a viable stress reduction strategy, particularly if you telecommute from your home office while taking “vacation” time (peek at our healthcare cost reduction white paper for more).
  4. Sleep.  If you’re like most of the planet, you’re not sleeping enough.  Proteins that don’t stack properly – a common biological occurrence inherent to the process of life at the cellular level – are purged from your cells only during sleep.  Translation:  literally every cell in your body is begging you to get some shuteye.
  5. Don’t over-schedule your time.  Allow yourself plenty of unstructured hours to do whatever strikes your fancy.  Wake when you’re tired of sleeping.  Eat when you’re hungry.  Be the master of your personal domain.  It’s good for the soul.

Convinced, but having trouble getting the C-suite to see the light?  Send them a link to our video to help make the case.  The incredible economic benefits of relaxed employees – and the staggering cost of a stressed-out workforce – is a compelling argument to foster a culture of focused relaxation.

Slowing down really does get you there faster.