Providing a note for their boss, Dutch museums help employees get a few hours off for a visit

Helping employees duck out of the workplace and into a museum, the Museumvereniging is offering to write their employer a note.

After filling in their own email address, their employer's name and when they'd like to go to a museum, the worker receives a message that they can forward to their manager. The email explains that visiting a museum lowers stress levels and provides inspiration, and asks the employer to let their staff member know if they can take a few hours off for a MuseumVrij break.

The initiative is part of an annual museum week organized by the Museumvereniging (Netherlands Museums Association), running from 4—10 April 2022. So far, nearly 18,000 people have used the request form.

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In large parts of the world, demographic trends are making workers ever scarcer. To attract and retain them, organizations will need to support a healthier work-life balance and combat burnout. The need is real: a global survey by Deloitte in 2021 found that "stress has returned to pre-pandemic levels, with more than 41% of millennials and 46% of Gen Zs saying they feel stressed all or most of the time."

Meanwhile, economic analysis by researchers at the University of York recently revealed that addressing mental health in the workplace doesn't just improve workers' wellbeing but their employer's bottom line, too. So whether it's brief breathers like a museum break or significant changes like switching to a four-day workweek, organizations stand to gain from prioritizing their employees' wellbeing.

Related: Tree desks in Finland combine forest bathing and remote working

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