This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

May 12, 1999

Recess Time

234 days until January 1, 2000

The pressure mounts. More and more work to do. Fewer and fewer people to carry the load. Fewer people work longer hours with greater intensity, then go home to do more work taking care of all the family tasks. Stores stay open later, as people shop at odd hours in a valiant effort to maintain some sort of balance.

Balance? Many workers don't feel they're in balance at all. They're pushing so hard, they are physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted. But, the work still has to be done. Start early with personal and family duties, then off to work for a sped-up effort to get results. Then, back to the family pressures. A vicious cycle.

We've told you about the new trend for people to take naps during their workday. Some understanding employers allow employees to nap briefly at their desks. Some companies, we've heard, actually have private quiet rooms where people can take longer, more serious naps.

Now we've heard of another emerging trend: recess. The traditional break on the playground is usually associated with elementary and perhaps middle school experiences. Now recess is being introduced to the world of adult employment. While the bells don't ring to announce the break in routine, at the appointed time everyone leaves their desks to enjoy a walk outside.

With the increasing intensity of work, especially in the information technology (IT) arena, we expect to see more recess times. These play times could include walking, a quick game of pick-up volleyball, or similar activities. Benefits include team-building, reduced stress, and improved wellness. Bottom line: a little break improves the quality of work . . . and work life.

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