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Feeling fatigued? It’s time to rejuvenate company culture

In today’s fast-paced corporate world companies, corporate leaders and employees are often finding themselves combating a ubiquitous issue: work-related fatigue. With packed meeting calendars and mounting to-do lists even the most outstanding employees have felt the strain of keeping up in high-pressure environments.

As we enter the second half of the year it’s the perfect time for South African company leaders, and employees, to assess how they can foster a better work environment and prevent burnout. There are various tangible ways to improve employee well-being, below are some revitalising suggestions to explore.

The power of nature

It takes approximately 120 minutes of weekly exposure to natural settings, such as woodlands or coastlines, to boost well-being and a healthier mindset. A 2019 study of 20,000 people by the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter, revealed that the two hours of time spent in nature could be spread out over the course of a week or done in one go. Being immersed in nature within urban spaces is just one way to achieve benefits; companies can reinvigorate teams through team building, think tanks and conferences in more tranquil environments.

‘’We are seeing a growing trend of executives and corporate teams wanting to explore company getaways in relaxing wild terrains, such as the Kruger National Park. The world-famous beauty of the park provides teams with a serene backdrop to take a break from the traditional confines of inner-city work conferences and events. This awe-inspiring untouched landscape inspires innovative conversation, encourages adventure, fosters a deeper sense of team unity and provides a one-of-a-kind environment for team-building activities,’’ explains Anton Gillis, CEO at Kruger Gate Hotel.

As some employers are navigating the post-pandemic office landscape, and contemplating the hybrid or fully in-office debate, bringing your teams to an engrossing new setting could be a strategic approach to igniting the passion in your company face-to-face.

Cultivate creativity

Inspiring creativity is fundamental in ensuring that businesses continue to scale and adapt to new goals. Each year The Future of Jobs Report, by the World Economic Forum, looks into how jobs and skills will develop within upcoming years. The 2023 report revealed that creative and analytical approaches to thinking continue to be the most significant skill for employees to have today. Within the essential ten skills workers should have in 2023 creative thinking ranked second, placing ahead of technological literacy, empathy and resilience.

‘’What could be better than taking employees away from their desks, and re-energising their creative thinking talents in a magnificent wild landscape? By taking teams out of the mundane everyday office setting, and into exciting environments like the bush, employers can give their employees an unparalleled opportunity to explore new creative ideas together, refresh overall inspiration and come back to the office with unforgettable bonds,’’ adds Gillis.

Support unique needs

Outside of work responsibilities employees take on other roles within their personal lives – some may be parents, or taking care of a family member. Differing unique employee circumstances could require a need to have more flexible work hours or arrangements. Management teams could make a massive impact on employee well-being by being open to a more adaptable and balanced working environment.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) found that post-pandemic a considerable number of the global labour force is working discretionary longer or shorter working hours, in comparison to the typical 40-hour work week structure. Additionally, more than a third of employees are frequently working over 48 hours a week, and a fifth of global employees are completing under 35 hours of work a week.

Furthermore, the ILO states that, ‘’there is a substantial amount of evidence that work–life balance policies provide significant benefits to enterprises, supporting the argument that such policies are a ‘win-win’ for both employers and employees’’.

In the midst of stressful times, companies have an opportunity and perhaps an obligation to evaluate how they can improve employee well-being. With diverse employee needs there are different ways for company leaders to enable an improved work dynamic, whether that’s a team-building excursion to the Kruger National Park to spend time in nature, encouraging employee autonomy or facilitating flexible work hours to promote a work-life balance. It’s through sustainable policies that employers can empower their teams and curb burnout.