Why Businesses Need To Take Employees' Hobbies Seriously

from learning a language to painting, we all have our hobbies

But as an employer, should you be paying attention to your employees' leisure time?

Whether it’s learning a new language, enjoying some gardening, or taking part in a team sport, making time for our hobbies is important. It can make us happier, more satisfied with life and they are a great stress reliever.

But as an employer you might be thinking that you don’t need to be worried about your employees making the most of their time outside of work. That’s where you might be wrong. If you want to get the best out of your people, you need to ensure they’ve got time for leisure as well as work. Here’s why, and how you can help…


Why you should encourage employee hobbies:

Help avoid burnout:

If your employees aren’t getting enough leisure time, or not making enough of that time, it can impact your business. According to Gallup, staff members experiencing burnout are almost two-thirds more likely to take a sick day, and stressed or dissatisfied employees tend to have considerably lower confidence at work.

Have happier and more productive staff:

Employees who take part in fun activities outside of work tend to be more motivated and content at work, and happiness can make employees around 13% more productive (University of Oxford)

Reduce staff turnover:

Employers that prioritise a good work/life balance tend to have greater staff loyalty, which can help you retain talented team members.


Four ways to help your employees make the most of their hobbies:

Bring hobbies into the workday:

Have you got a group of employees that love reading? Encourage them to set up a book club, same goes for your bakers or painters. This not only encourages your employees to make time for their hobby, it helps with their social wellbeing, and gives them a chance to meet people they might not usually work with.

Get outside experts to come in:

Or give your internal staff a chance to showcase their hobbies! For your next virtual get together why not have someone, externally or internally, teach your staff about their hobby. It could be wine tasting, baking something together, or a painting session. It will give your employees time to learn something new, bond with their teams and maybe even ignite a new passion for some of your staff.

Encourage a good work/life balance:

It can be all to easy to work slightly later than we mean to, or to answer emails outside of working hours, but that can eat up our personal time. Making a good work/life balance part of your companies culture will help, actively encourage your teams to close their laptops and not check in after their core hours and make sure they don’t work during their annual leave. This works best when senior leaders do this and set an example for all employees.

Helping them offset the costs with cashback or vouchers:

Hobbies aren’t always free, so helping your employees offset the cost of any supplies they need can go a long way to encouraging them to make the time for hobbies. You could offer them a cashback card to give them access to up to 15% back on household purchases or give them vouchers to use.


How we can help:

Discounts are a great way to support your employees hobbies. If you want to start offering discounts, cashback, or vouchers at work, get in touch with our experts today. They can help you decide what would work best for your employees.

Download your free employee health and wellbeing pack


University of Oxford