How to De-Hustle Your Workplace

5 tips to go from busy burnout to healthy productivity

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One thing that a pandemic can do is force us to slow down.

Now that we are paying attention, we may be noticing things in our work culture that we want to change, things that we can finally admit NEED to be changed.

So you wanna de-hustle your workplace?

That can be a big task, especially when our brains are so accustomed to being “productive” all day every day. Not to mention our identity and self worth being so wrapped up in what we DO rather than who we ARE, that detangling those things and retraining our brains will take commitment.

Awareness is the first step.

How can you tell if your workplace worships the hustle? (other than the “Rise and Grind” poster in the hallway and the “Hustle” coffee cups that show up on virtual meetings)

Burnt out and disengaged employees, unrealistic scheduling expectations, hours being rewarded over the actual quality of work, and humanity being viewed as “unprofessional” to name a few.

You recognize the signs and you’re ready to make some changes to your work culture. What next?

Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Recognize where your hustle mindset comes from. Whether or not you are in a leadership role at work, it’s important to recognize where your hustle mentality comes from. Societal messaging affects us all, and maybe it was reinforced by a mentor, parent, or circumstance. It’s also important to make the distinction between a healthy work ethic and harmful hustling.
  2. Examine how hustle culture is being sustained. Are long hours and choosing work over family being rewarded? Are team members expected to keep unhealthy work schedules? Are work emails being sent after hours and on weekends? Time to explore what harmful habits are being practiced just because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
  3. Redefine success. What if instead of rewarding long hours and valuing money over our own wellness, we modeled and promoted self care, efficient productivity, and work-life blend? Take a hard look at what behaviors are being rewarded and how those things are affecting your team. What other habits that refuel your team could be celebrated instead?
  4. Build new anti-hustle habits into your culture. Now that you’ve dissected how the hustle has influenced your workplace, it’s time to replace bad habits with new ones. Schedule regular company-wide breaks. Lead with empathy. Respect the team’s time off. Allow time for play, creativity, and passion projects. Find out what refuels your team (and you), and build those things into your work culture.
  5. Celebrate the humanity of your team. Rather than give a team member the side-eye for asking to leave early for their kid’s soccer game, celebrate that they are involved with their family. Instead of getting angry that someone is leaving their position for their dream job in a different industry, congratulate them. If someone on the team is going through hard times, don’t expect them to be just as productive. Support them. We are not robots.

We can be productive AND make space for our humanity in the workplace, which means that incorporating refueling activities into our day IS part of the work.

How will you incorporate rest and play into your work day?

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