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Working hard and badly: the busy bee syndrome

In our revolutionary journey to build a culture of well-being we are not alone. Trainect's well-being ambassadors, people passionate about the topic, actively accompany us in spreading the key concepts to create sustainable working environments.

In this article, Marika Lupi, HR and well-being ambassador of Trainect , makes us reflect on the theme of hyper-productivity and the culture of performance, with a very powerful metaphor, that of the busy bee.

"Feeling as a busy been", why is busy bee syndrome addictive?

Here we are, in single file towards our workstations, fins and glasses hanging up remain in the summer photos leaving room for backpacks, PCs, meetings and school rhythms. We re-wear the clothes of transformative workers, parents, athletes, passionate creatives and viveurs. In this carousel of duties, commitments and responsibilities, our professional identity often coincides with our personal one and the reason is simple: because we spend a lot of time at work which outlines and enhances our personal effectiveness but above all it is (spoiler alert!!!) instrument to live and support ourselves.

In addition to healthy snacks and headphones, we carry in our backpack the biases of capitalist society according to which it is difficult to dissociate the concept of work from that of productivity and sacrifice, let alone replace it outright with that of work-rest-greater efficiency.

How can this dominant paradigm be changed?

Yet this is one of the purposes of Trainect Wellbeing Revolution which could be imagined as courageous as Delacroix's "Freedom leading the people" in spreading the psychology and culture of well-being; along these lines, the international management consultancy firm "Mckinsey & Company" appears enterprising and has provided a report relating to company costs, arguing how a well-rested employee can perform better, also ironically stating that "he who sleeps catches fish and acquires leadership" : a gamble? Or a non-sighted vision of how much rest, especially at work, together with flexible hours, can be the turning point for a decidedly healthier and more sustainable worklife balance?

I provide in support the data from the Istituto Superiore della Sanità , which has estimated that in Italy the lack of sleep causes companies to lose productivity by up to 5 billion euros a year, a percentage that corresponds to 0.5% of GDP .

So how can we destigmatize the culture of rest without coming across as slackers?

In a preventive and continuous manner: "make sure to rest, before you really need to", working by priority, facilitating smart working, increasing breaks, trying to adopt solutions such as "power nap or nap room" through which to encourage rest, preferably between 1pm and 3pm and lasting between 20 and 30 minutes: in fact, it has been demonstrated that the power-nap can constitute a sort of energy booster, improving the activities of the right hemisphere and creativity.

As a counterbalance to this context, workaholism , the work-centric conception of life, burn out and consequently, moving like drunken tightrope walkers between work, passions and duties, creep in, giving rise to multitasking stuntmen. This latter term derives from information technology: but we are not laptops , we do not work, we are not machines, we do not produce; what characterizes us is intentionality, thinking, choosing, deciding.

Working in urgency is a trap, why do we continue to do it?

Working in "urgency" is a trap, an illusion, not everything can be urgent, not everything can be a priority. Prioritizing makes you more aware and improves efficiency, however, this is possible when there is an underlying culture of corporate well-being. The company is not a generic entity but a sum of individuals, therefore it is necessary for that CEO, owner, manager to apply the lens of the "People center" and only by truly putting people at the center with their needs, understanding the emotional resonance that the right work rhythm has in their lives, the real transformation will take place, step by step.

And here we are at the turning point that brings with it awareness and mea culpa: we are always ready to welcome English neologisms to make any initiative more sophisticated and attractive... let's show ourselves equally welcoming towards those initiatives that might seem strange, yes, but perhaps necessary, let's try to embrace those "courageous" solutions that characterize leading companies such as Google, Zappos, Cisco, P&G ... certainly starting from the small because the inspiration from certain working archetypes makes all the difference in the world.

What is the starting point for this change?

Let's restore priorities: treating work as a tool to buy free time is no less noble, but perhaps healthier. Working with, and for those who have full knowledge of this truth, is not luck, but rather the new revolution, of which Delacroix (really!) would make it a banner and perhaps, that Freedom that runs hastily, he would paint more relaxed.

The English expression "Busy as a been" is curious, busy like a bee... with all due respect for the ecosystem, I have always disliked bees, however I recognize them as the founders of teamwork, of organization and focus on objectives. We borrow these principles from them, because good choral work makes us less busy but more present and active in our human ecosystem.

Do you want to create an Effective Corporate Wellbeing Program for your company? Book a free call with our Wellbeing Designers who will help you understand the best solutions for your organization.

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