Workplace Wellbeing

Thriving at Work: How Focus Week Recharged Our Team

Earlier this month, we held our first-ever Focus Week—an experiment in our ongoing mission to develop better ways for organizations to work and team members to thrive. Here's what happened.

Written by
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Karishma Patel Buford
Chief People Officer
Clinically reviewed by
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A woman in a blue shirt with round glasses working on a laptop

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    Earlier this month, we held our first-ever Focus Week—an experiment in our ongoing mission to develop better ways for organizations to work and team members to thrive.

    We canceled all non-essential meetings, minimized distractions, and encouraged our team members to dive into the key work that gets chopped up or deprioritized during the regular day-to-day.

    It was an opportunity to focus on deep work, allowing our team members the space to hit peak concentration—also called a flow state—that lets you learn hard things and create quality work quickly. This unlocked an entire week for sprints, hackathons, creative projects, learning and personal development, and important projects that required dedicated thinking and focus time.

    To be clear, this was the antithesis of a week away from the job. It wasn’t an opportunity for personal errands, team building, organizing, or networking. Instead, Springers were empowered to take ownership of their deep work responsibilities and given the space and resources to succeed.

    Reducing burnout and fatigue

    The idea was that, by minimizing distractions and intentionally protecting a week’s worth of bandwidth, we were not only intentionally building the space for critical work to get done, but we could also be helping to alleviate fatigue and burnout.

    Research shows that a lack of time for deep work is the largest contributor to those negative feelings, and we theorized that a well-planned companywide Focus Week could potentially have beneficial effects on that front.

    The results of this first iteration were extremely promising. In fact, we surveyed Spring Health team members about how energized they felt before and after Focus Week, and we saw a 36% jump in the average energized score after those five days of flow state work.

    Boosting energy, engagement, and productivity

    Beyond that positive data, the individual reviews we heard after the week included so much of what we were hoping to hear. The most common words we received in feedback were “productive,” “refreshing,” “effective,” “efficient,” and “engaged.” Here’s what one team member had to say about the experience:

    “I wrapped up a big project and felt so good about how I left it … During focus week, I was able to plan my days and hit all of my targets for completing deep work, and also get great rest. I woke up excited for each day's work. My work is better and I'm mentally healthier and happier. Can't wait for the next one!”

    That theme of feeling recharged was one we saw again and again in the responses from our team members. As another team member reported:

    "The biggest win of Focus Week was the amount of extra energy I had at the end of the day! As an introvert, I often find myself completely drained and burned out at the end of the day. It was so nice to have a week where I felt like I got back the energy I need for my life outside of work."

    As an organization, we aim for a culture of thriving—where team members consistently feel inspired, empowered, and energized. To that end, the success of Focus Week is just one step in our ongoing mission to develop better ways for work to work. 

    Here are three more ways to encourage workplace wellbeing at your organization.

    About the Author
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    Karishma Patel Buford
    Chief People Officer

    Karishma leads Spring Health’s People Team, and is focused on building and expanding talent acquisition, onboarding, learning and development, total rewards, DE&I, organizational development and culture initiatives. Before joining Spring Health, Karishma led various teams at OppFi including People, Communications, and Customer Success.

    About the clinical reviewer
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