All team members at Stories Inc. look forward to Summer Fridays — when the office closes on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. But, in this summer of covid, we value this extra day off more than ever. The team has been working extremely hard from their distributed locations, while innovating to create new services and deliver compelling content to our partners. And so, we find those Summer Fridays and other vacation days essential to supporting the team’s emotional health. In fact, stories of employee work-life balance (including vacation, and even during a pandemic) show what life is really like at your company.
Employees need time off, especially now
Even pre-pandemic, American employees do not use their vacation days. And now with worries of safety, travel restrictions and feelings of financial uncertainty, fewer workers are taking vacation days this summer. In fact, vacation requests are down 47.5 percent, according to data from Zenefits. But taking time away from work demands is critical for employee well-being right now.
No matter the industry or role, all employees’ work lives have changed dramatically due to the pandemic, and so many of those changes are stressful. As Covid continues to impact our lives and many employees continue to work from home, the boundaries of work and personal/family time are blurred. Working parents are still functioning with less childcare support, and many are gearing up to oversee virtual schooling in the fall. Add in personal and professional worries related to the economic recession, and the threat of employee burnout is real.
“The pandemic brings with it a sense of continued uncertainty, which contributes to chronic stress,” says non-profit leader and burnout expert Davida Ginter. However, taking time away from work has been clinically proven to reduce stress and decrease risk of burnout. Additionally, data shows that time off increases productivity when workers return and improves overall happiness and well-being.
Stories from the Stories Inc. team
All of those factors contribute to Stories Inc.’s supportive culture towards taking vacation days and closing the laptops on Summer Fridays. Even in the midst of a pandemic, our team members have found ways to safely unplug (while social distancing).
Scott and his fiancée, Blair, got married in an intimate ceremony and took some time to celebrate their union.
Lauryn and her family found their zen on an uncrowded beach.
Jill has spent her Summer Fridays social distancing on trails, lakes and rivers.
A cabin in the mountains proved to be restorative for Jessica and her family after weeks of virtual work and school.
Christian has been spending his Fridays flying. He’s just a few weeks away from finishing his flight hours and receiving his full pilot’s license.
Jamie has been working on some new artwork and animation.
And, Anna visited the Berkshires with her boyfriend, Noam, where they enjoyed family, hikes and swims.
Share your company’s stories of employee work-life balance
Stories of happy employees are refreshing content during a time when everyone can use some good news. But even more importantly, stories that communicate a culture of work-life balance can help you retain employees and attract candidates. The stories prove that you value your employees’ well-being and put their wellness first, even during uncertain times.
Don’t let physical distance stop you from uncovering the impact of these stories! We’re working with leading companies right now to capture employee stories remotely and create visually compelling content. Read more about how we can help.