Importance of summer recovery to work efficiently
It is considered to be self-evident that the relationship between work and recovery must be on a sustainable footing. Otherwise, we will burn our employees out and, in addition to human suffering, we also lose valuable knowledge capital as an organization.
The content of the work must be meaningful, and the recovery must be consciously taken care of. I open this blog with my observations, actions, and experiences on what the first steps we have made in United Finance on these issues. And at the end, I’m going to share my own experience on how to cope.
What matters are relevant for our staff at work?
This is a topic we could figure out on the basis of “I-feel-like” method. But we at UF really decided to figure out the matter, and the tool that was ultimately chosen was the Siqnistudy. We felt that the essentialresource for our staff was an opportunity to work independently of time and place.
In this case, we have already succeeded in 91/100. On the basis of feedback, teams can trust that everyone is doing their best and the jobs promised to customers will be completed on time. One of the manifestations of the mode of operation is that in our offices there is usually in a relaxed atmosphere and everyone can find time for inspirational discussions.
Other things that our staff considers most important are meaningful work assignments, strong team spirit, trustworthy leadership and the fact that the organisation has an inspiring goal.
One of the findings of the Siqni study was that we are all ultimately individuals. One thing that is entirely irrelevant to one person may be really important to someone else. We saw this for example when we were choosing a coffee machine for our new office. Fortunately, we realized that the ultimate choice of equipment should be made by those for whom high-quality coffee is a vital part of their work.
Do you know what the most important things for your organization’s staff are?
Tools for coping at work
It is good to admit that if tasks do not feel meaningful, the quality of the work falls, regardless of what circus tricks are built around the work.
After the performer of the work and the tasks meet at the right level, the study showed that the significance of a team spirit had become the next most important resource for us.
For many of us in UF, team spirit means primarily solving the challenges of work together. For many, team spirit also indicated that it was nice to hang out together also outside of work. The feedback also revealed that an improvement in the internal information flow was seen to have an uplifting effect on the team spirit.
In order to improve the information flow, in addition to better communication channels, we also adopted Tuesday morning breakfasts and Friday afternoon bubbly as a new practice. In these forums, the atmosphere has been high, and the exchange of information happens naturally.
To increase our internal co-operation, we are now going through with the entire team, once a week, what the TOP challenges and successes of everyone are for the current week. In these meetings, innovative solutions have already been found to the problematic situations.
Outside the actual work, introduction to different types of sports has been found to be the unifying factor. As a group, we have this year been testing different sports, including downhill skiing, fencing, canoeing, and mountaineering. At least for me, the highlight of the year is our yearly ski trip to Austria. We have already been to Saalbach and Zell am See, in the coming winter Bad Gastein’s sights and spas will be awaiting us.
What kind of measures has been taken in your organization to improve the team spirit?
Measures for recovery
We are doing creative work, that is, we shape our customers’ service offering to a new level. When we start co-operating with our new customer, and the creative process is started, it is, of course, difficult to stop. At least as for me, the subconscious does not ask for time and place when the models of solutions begin to crop up in my head. At this point, good ideas should be documented even if it is just a Sunday evening jog, for example. Is that then the famous work time or not?
Our model is that everyone defines their own work time and place. And we are confident that work tasks will be handled with UF quality. This means that sometimes when projects are at the most critical stage, there may be a lot of work then. On the other hand, it is easy to cope when you know that when you get to the finish, you can take a break for a second.
Can you set the pace of your work week the way you want?
If working time is not monitored, why should one monitor the holiday days?
Many companies such as Netflix, Virgin, and LinkedIn have moved to a free holiday model. There are still a few examples of it in Finland, but United Finance is one of the forerunners. With us, everyone can have a holiday as long as they want. But we see to it that it is for at least 5 weeks a year. Also, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health considers this approach as a very good solution.
Of course, somebody could abuse the free vacation model. Someone could take a huge vacation and leave the work to be handled by others. The prerequisite for success is that employees are committed to jointly agree to the game rules and goals.
Would a free holiday policy work in your organization?
Yes, and finally, the tip for coping that I have beenpromising to give: If you do not yet have it, get yourself a passion and stick to it. It does not matter whether the passionis for bird watching, collecting Chinese porcelain, or even ice swimming.
As for me, it is freeride. It combines good friends, versatile exercise, travel, it is suitably extreme, enjoying of nature and good food. This helps me to cope. What is your passion?