11 Ways to Encourage Employees to Disconnect and Recharge

Employee burnout can be a serious concern in any business environment potentially leading to loss of morale, health issues, and ultimately, a drop in productivity.

Today, members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share with you some ideas to encourage employees to disconnect and recharge.

1. Set an Example


Leaders don’t often realize how much their own behavior affects their employees and what they consider appropriate. If they see you working in the office late every night without ever disconnecting or recharging, then they’ll assume that’s what you’re expecting from them. Make sure you make time to take a break. Show your employees that it’s acceptable and can even improve work in the long run.

– Mattan Griffel, One Month



2. Encourage Them to Get Out

I’ve realized how beneficial it is to step outside and do a digital detox. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, getting a fresh breath of air and completely avoiding work is well worth the investment. I try to set an example for my employees by doing this every day, and I highly encourage them to do the same.


– Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital



3. Give Unlimited Vacation Time

At Mighty, we have an open vacation policy, and we do this for one very specific reason: We believe that you can only be as creative as the experiences you have in life. So we want our employees to get out of the office and take the time to see the world and experience as much as they can. As long as they are able to complete their work, they are free to explore.

– Jarrett McCraw, Mighty



4. Allow More Freedom with Breaks

The key to encouraging employees to disconnect and recharge is to give them more freedom with their breaks. Employees usually take one break a shift, which is considered their lunch break. Employers should allow employees access to a break room, where employees can temporarily step away from their work. Allow your employees to access this room multiple times a day as opposed to just one.

– Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.



5. Avoid Work in the Evenings and Weekends

One of the “perks” on our careers page is no work after hours or on the weekend. At MeetEdgar, we actually keep our work during working hours only, instead of after dinner, too. It’s important for leadership to set the example of stopping work when the day is done so that employees aren’t expected to be on call 24/7.


– Laura Roeder, MeetEdgar.com



6. Don’t Focus on Hours

Organizations that are too focused on when their employees clock in and out can actually end up hurting worker productivity. Focusing on results rather than time allocated can encourage them to disconnect when they need it, while also promoting creative freedom and minimizing the chance of burnout.


– Robert Lee, Circa Interactive Inc




7. Force Them to Stop Working

At Kitchen Cabinet Kings, if you have unused vacation hours at the end of the year, we force you to take them and you’re not allowed to come to work. We reassure our employees that all of their work will be handled and they can spend the time however they please. At first, it sounds harsh, but we’ve seen a lot of success with this tactic and employees are more productive when they get back.

– Andrew Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings



8. Unplug With Monthly Mandatory Team Events

We do monthly events that get the whole team out of the office for an afternoon. It’s simple, often free (such as a trip to the beach), and sends a message that it’s okay to disconnect from time to time. Events include tacos at the beach, movies, volleyball or dinner. One of our team members has to stay in the office in case anything urgent comes up, so we do something nice for that person afterwards.

– Nanxi Liu, Enplug



9. Set “Hustle” Expectations

Nick Akey

At any company focused on growth, there will be times when late nights, early mornings and hustle are required. To ensure your employees are taking the time to rest and recharge, let them know ahead of time that these seasons of hustle will exist, while being clear that they are only an occasional event. Your employees need a base of rest and routine to power the hustle.

– Nick Akey, MakerSquare


10. Implement a Digital Detox

With new social media and productivity apps, committed employees are constantly plugged in and unable to disconnect from the constant demands the outside world places on us. I encourage employees to go through periodic digital detox phases – unplug from phones, social media, etc. – and focus on the present. It takes concerted effort to do so, but the results are incredibly powerful.

– Marcela De Vivo, Brilliance



11. Allow Employees to Determine What Works for Them

Some employees enjoy what they do. Bear with me now, this might be a scary concept. I have a lot of members on my team who’ve admitted that work is somewhat of an escape from reality – something that they can control. It’s difficult to get these types of people to take a break, especially when they go through a personal trauma and use work as a coping mechanism. I allow them to choose what works for them.

– Cody McLain, SupportNinja




Young Entrepreneur Council

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective (http://businesscollective.com), a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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