Despite the many advantages of technology, there are adverse effects that arise from people’s reliance upon things outside Nature and themselves for their happiness. In 1807, William Wordsworth wrote a poem that begins with these lines:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

…we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours…

In the quest for success and monetary comforts, people in these times have become consumed with “getting and spending,” foregoing those intangibles that feed their souls and prevent discontent and burnout. Perhaps, too, the monotony of working from home and having little change in their environments and less communication with co-workers and friends has also contributed to burnout, and life becomes “too much.”

Short Vacations Mitigate Job Burnout

The World Health Organization has classified burnout on the job as a work hazard. Time away from the workplace has proven to help in relieving this condition. Interestingly, one recent survey reported that 87% of those questioned believe that three-day weekends are better for reducing stress than extended vacations. For, by taking only a few days off, employees’ work does not pile up as it does when they are gone for a week or two. This arrangement of time off can play a vital role in workers’ relaxation and enjoyment during vacations and their well-being afterward.

In a recent survey, 87% of a group of 1,000 employees in the U.S. workforce questioned about vacations are convinced that long weekends relieve stress better than more extended vacations. Whenever they took a long weekend, workers reported that they did not worry about what awaited them upon returning to work as they did when taking extended breaks. Those workers who took more time off found themselves working longer hours after returning to their jobs. Consequently, they became more stressed than before they went on vacation. Co-workers also were burdened with more work while others were gone.

Whitespace Hours Prevent Job Burnout

Studies have demonstrated that preventing burnout on the job occurs when employers strike the right balance between intense, focused work time and what is called “open whitespace hours.” These hours include designated times for creativity and projects, and employees are passionate about and physical exercises. Affording employees an area where they share a sense of community has proven beneficial. Such areas as a yoga studio or game room are helpful. When employees occupy the whitespace time on their calendars with exercise, creative thinking, or personal projects–little “vacations” from the tedium at work–their energy is restored. They also think more clearly. And, if they engage with one another in creative thinking, stronger working relations are built.