Margin Notes: Managing for Rest


Note: Margins Notes are quick, 250-word or shorter posts that aim to pose a question and get our mental juices flowing. Check out the first Margin Notes post here.

Is it a manager’s business to think about if her employees are resting?

This may sound like micromanaging. That’s an understandable fear, but there is evidence to suggest that managers who think about their team’s work but not their rest are missing out.

Check out this Science of Us article for background. Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg found that rest periods in work pay off in big ways for productivity.

How can a manager take this evidence and incorporate it into good developmental strategy in the day-to-day operations of a team?

Some thoughts:

1. Consider your culture of productivity.

You must understand the culture you’ve set. Are you being intentional? Or have you left your productivity culture to chance?

2. Model good practice.

If you can’t take the time to go for a short walk as a leader, or schedule in some time to disengage from work, then you can guarantee that your team won’t either.

3. Practice social rejuvenation.

As it says in the article, social rest can be one of the most rewarding types of rest. Try to plan social rest time into your work days.

4. Recognize what isn’t rest.

You don’t experience the positive output of rest if you use your “rest” time to scroll through Twitter or LinkedIn. You need to engage a different part of your brain, not simply turn off the productive part of it.


What do you think? Is this positive? Or is it just a whole new level of micromanagement? Let us know in the comments!


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