Disconnect to Reconnect?

It seems like everyone is working harder than ever today. It’s difficult to dial down when you have continual connectivity with work all day and even at home via various electronic devices. Most of us spend more time at work than at play. So how can we help employees disconnect in order to reconnect and feel happier in their work?

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Chili Champs at B A Die Mold, Inc.

It seems like everyone is working harder than ever today. It’s difficult to dial down when you have continual connectivity with work all day and even at home via various electronic devices. Most of us spend more time at work than at play. So how can we help employees disconnect in order to reconnect and feel happier in their work?

That’s the question, and some have found some answers. One example is at Krieger Craftsmen, where owner Tim Krieger installed a beautiful outdoor space for his employees, complete with a fountain and garden, a fireplace and grilling station, that he named the Tranquility Area. He encourages his team to enjoy it and, during non-working time or a lunch break, to use it with family members.

Tim took his cue from A-1 Tool Corp. and Craftsman Tool and Mold Company, each of whom installed workout areas for their employees and even hired personal trainers to come in and customize programs for those who were serious about getting in shape.

Other companies have elaborate picnics and holiday parties and many cater in lunches or get a company team together to compete in a park district league of some kind a couple of days a week. Some extend lunch breaks to hold cook-off contests. For example, B A Die Mold, Inc., recently held a chili cook-off and six employees entered to win bragging rights. I was able to stop in and participate that day and could not believe how very different each chili recipe tasted from the others. They were all delicious and as it turned out, two entrants tied for top honors. I’ve heard about other companies doing similar “foodie” contests, including best barbequed ribs and best burger creation competitions—even a baking contest!

There are so many ways to help ease stress at work and build camaraderie among employees. Please note, too, that many of these activities do not require the use of Smart Phones or other electronics. Instead, they require human interaction, face-to-face time, etc. With summer nearly upon us, I wonder what other ways companies can do to bring fun into the workplace and lighten up the days. Please share!

 

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