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Companies Should Focus on Psychological Detachment

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Recently, we talked about some key interventions that can help employees learn how to detach from work. While we talked about it from the employee perspective, it’s actually important for companies to get involved. A recent study shows that company-provided interventions can be really effective at helping employees with psychological detachment. Today, we break down why that matters.

Psychological Detachment and Benefits

Psychological detachment is an employee’s ability to distance themselves from work. Basically, employees experience detachment when they feel disconnected from work. They aren’t thinking about work, doing work, or talking about work. It is one of the four key recovery tactics.

There’s been a lot of research done on this concept because of it’s big impact. Employees that detach are able to unwind and recover from work stress. This leads to improved well-being and less fatigue and exhaustion. These employees feel better mentally and physically. They are more satisfied with life, have more energy, and get better sleep! When employees disconnect fully, they not only feel better but perform better when they come back to work. In other words, everybody wins!

Providing employees with interventions about psychological detachment can be incredibly impactful!

However, it isn’t always easy for employees to detach from work. Employees can struggle with it if there’s a high workload or a lot of pressure. There’s even a “Recovery Paradox“. Basically, it says that you need to do recovery activities like detaching in order to recover from stress – BUT, it’s hard to detach when there is a lot of stress. That’s where companies’ responsibility comes into play.

What To Do

As I mentioned earlier, interventions are highly effective for employees to achieve psychological detachment. Specifically, providing employees courses and training to help them detach actually works! And the length is important! Interventions should last longer than two weeks and four hours of total time.

But it shouldn’t stop there. Leaders need to take a good hard look at the type of jobs and environments they are creating. Are people experiencing high workloads? Is there unnecessary stress or pressure put on employees? Leaders need to address the work stress at the same time as providing these interventions. This will allow employees room to detach as well as the techniques to do so. And, even if you don’t care about well-being (even though we hope you do), it’ll bump up the performance of your people!

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