In 2019, there will be a continued interest and focus for nonprofits to get impact without burnout, explains Beth Kanter. The best-selling author outlines the top trends in wellbeing that all nonprofit professionals should know about and practice in the new year.
1. Building a culture of wellbeing in the nonprofit workplace is more popular than ever.
Organizational culture has become your nonprofit’s brand and it really matters more than ever when it comes to sustaining high performance. There is now enough evidence from research that stressful workplaces are counter-productive to impact. Radical transparency, powered by movements like #metoo, have shined a light on toxic nonprofit workplace cultures for all to see and can wreak havoc with an organization’s reputation and ability to succeed. In 2019, many nonprofits (and others) will be focusing on building an organizational culture of wellbeing that focuses on kindness, community, resilience, and more.
2. More nonprofits will adopt workplace policies around flex-place, flex-time, four-day work weeks, and minimum vacation time
The traditional work-week format of all employees coming into the office from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday is changing. More and more organizations are instituting non-traditional workplace policies in an effort to reduce burnout and increase productivity, including shorter work weeks (4 10 hours days per week), working at home, or different schedules. Remote work is also becoming more popular, along with a desire to improve virtual meeting skills. As more evidence emerges around the link between vacation time off and productivity, more organizations are looking at strategies to ensure that employees actually take their vacation time.
3. Micro-moments of self-care during the day will become more commonplace.
Nonprofit leaders will continue to recognize that self-care is not a luxury, but a part of doing the job. A new trend of bringing self-care into the workplace consists of weaving it into your day as micro-breaks. And not just breaks that last a few minutes, it is just important to encourage staff to take their lunch break according to this new study. Here’s many more examples of how nonprofit professionals can take a mini-break during their day and increase, not decrease, productivity.
4. Getting enough sleep is essential, but too much can be harmful.
The bad health effects of too little sleep are well documented. But too much sleep is not good either. Looks like optimum amount of sleep is now 6-8 hours, based on this new, large-scale study. And industry promoting good sleep hygiene has popped up in the last few years, in part driven by the success of Arianna Huffington’s book, “The Sleep Revolution.” One of the most popular, although with little science behind it, is the weighted blanket. (And yes I swear by mine.)
5. Technology is eroding our health and wellbeing.
There have been more and more reports of Silicon Valley insiders are going to great lengths disconnect from social media and their mobile phones. These insiders are the same engineers who designed and built different features in social media platforms that created our behavior addictions. Makes you wonder what they know that the average user does not? There have been many more studies, like this one from Pew, that have looked at the connection between technology and an a decrease in our wellbeing. With a rise in public attention on the harmful impact of too much screen time and companies like Apple adding features like screen time, 2019 is will be the year of technology wellness.
6. Technology is enhancing our health and wellbeing.
There is a flip side. Increasingly technology tools—from apps to devices—are being used to monitor, improve, and enhance our health, happiness, and wellbeing. An extensive study released earlier in 2018 by Kaleido, “Modern Wellbeing,” shows how technology use is increasingly growing in impact to our minds, bodies, communities, and physical spaces. Just one example is that technology devices are putting our health data in our hands (or wrists) and allowing us to better partner with our doctors.
There is a growing recognition and research that suggests people are starting to take a step back from the 24-hour digital life we have now and realize the mental health issues from being constantly connected to work and the ill effects of a toxic work culture. In 2019, there will be a continued interest and focus for nonprofits to get impact without burnout and be happier and healthier changing the world.