Berger Leadership Blog

Jun 02, 2023

Out of office: How to prevent burnout

Can you believe we are almost halfway through 2023? The dog days of summer are nearly here.

Just like a seventh inning stretch, now is a good time to lock in those summer travel plans, get out of town and give yourself and your team a recharge. Many people talk the talk but don’t actually walk the walk when it comes to encouraging your colleagues to take that much needed break.

To best serve our members, we need to be our best selves and a vacation or a short break from the computer is necessary to prevent burnout. But accountability is still important not only for leaders, but for employees at every level of an organization. Before you set your out of office, be sure to set your team up for success while you’re out:

  1. Tie up those loose ends. Outline work that will need to be covered or addressed while you’re away from your desk. The trains will keep moving but only with direction and clear instruction. This step can also help ease your mind as you spend quality time with your family, friends, or even a good book.

  2. Plan for your return. While the first step will prepare your colleagues for your departure, it is important to also consider what will be waiting for you when you return. To get back into work mode, block off time on your calendar to sort through emails and prioritize what needs your immediate attention and what can wait. Don’t tie yourself back into the knots that you just spent time on unraveling.
  3. Don’t take fresh air for granted. Get outside as much as possible. Even if your vacation doesn’t revolve around a lake, the beach, or even a pool – prioritize getting some vitamin D. I recently took a fishing trip and there is nothing like getting out into nature and breathing in the fresh air to recenter your focus, and spark your creativity. 

  4. Be present. Stop checking your phone and remember that you took this time for yourself – not only to not work, but also to not think about work. You already set your team up for success in your absence.

I speak a lot about our culture here at NAFCU and will reiterate my previous sentiments – our staff is our greatest asset. The more we can invest into our employees’ well-being, the better they’ll serve our members. To acknowledge the hard work our team does day-in and day-out for our member credit unions, we encourage all employees to remove the shackles from their laptops and be present in the moment.

As leaders, it can seem counterproductive to encourage your team to take some time away from the office – but in reality, it’s extremely productive. The summer can be a great time to recharge, reset and refocus. And then, it’s time to strap in and be ready to tackle whatever the next six months throws our way.

About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry.

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