Several major organizations have recently announced changes to their paid leave programs for employees, specifically family leave. For instance, as the Entrepreneur article, “10 U.S Companies With Radically Awesome Parental Leave policies,” points out, Netflix recently announced an unlimited maternity and paternity leave program, allowing new parents to take as much time as they want in the year following a child’s birth or adoption. This change represents a large shift in thinking, and one that is proven to pay out big time for the employer.

Today, the United States is still one of only four countries in the world that don’t guarantee paid maternity leave. Alternatively, in Sweden, working moms and dads are eligible for up to 480 paid days off per child, which they can take any time until the child is eight years old. What does all this time off do for the granting employer? The result is proof positive that a happy worker is a more productive worker, and workers that have had time to spend with their family and to bond with a new child are far happier and productive in the workplace.

If you’re looking for some concrete ways to get your employees’ morale up, consider offering them a little more time off. Whether it’s an increase to the family leave policy or even just offering an additional paid day or two, per employee, per year, it’s bound to have a massive effect on productivity. It’s been proven time and time again that continuous work, without time to reduce stress and fatigue, drains the brain’s ability to focus on any type of daily task or to problem solve.

If a full day of time off isn’t going to work, consider finding ways to encourage breaks after 90 minutes of work. Resting your brain is just like resting any other muscle in your body. Providing time for your employees to relax and recharge their batteries will, in the end, prove to increase their productivity while they are on the clock, thus increasing your bottom line. And of course, that’s the ultimate goal. Consider giving the gift of time to your employees this holiday season. As they spend that time with their families and friends over the holidays, they’ll return well-rested and ready to work.

This article was written by Deborah Flomberg for Small Business Pulse



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