The STAEDTLER “Take Your Break – Colour Your Moments” initiative aims to raise awareness of the need to strike the right balance between stress and success in the workplace. Its stated goal is to establish adult colouring as a key component of occupational health programmes.
Health insurers’ records have been noting increased stress-related absence from work for 15 years now. Out of around 15 sickness days per person per year, today some 2.5 days result from psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety or stress. And one of the main stress factors, according to the TK Stress Survey 2016 "Entspann Dich, Deutschland" ["Relax, Germany"], is work.
Targeted reduction of stress in our daily working lives is therefore essential for maintaining a healthy balance, and STAEDTLER is keen to make a major contribution to this process. With its “Take Your Break – Colour Your Moments” initiative, STAEDTLER is aiming to establish adult colouring as a new and effective component of occupational health programmes.
The company’s efforts are being supported by Sven Hannawald. The Olympic ski jump champion, 4 times world champion and Four Hills Tournament grand slam winner had to deal with highly stressful situations in the course of his career, and creative breaks and colouring templates now play a central role in his management seminars.
Colouring makes for a good creative break and can be integrated with relatively little effort into the working day. It provides relaxation and is demonstrably quick and effective. “As a business we want this campaign to raise awareness of how important it is to have a good balance between stress and relaxation in your job,” explains Jutta Winkelsträter, Head of HR for the STAEDTLER Group. “Many employees sit at their PC all day or are engaged in abstract work. Taking a quick – and importantly, analogue – break from your job can help prevent stress and the associated health conditions,” says Winkelsträter.
The company’s efforts are being supported by Sven Hannawald. The Olympic ski jump champion, 4 times world champion and Four Hills Tournament grand slam winner had to deal with highly stressful situations in the course of his career. His extraordinary sporting success was followed by burnout. He came across colouring subsequently as part of his therapy.
Creative breaks and colouring templates now play a central role in his management seminars, where he is happy to share his insights with participants. “In order to be able to work effectively, you have to take breaks. But many people don‘t manage to switch off, even during their lunch break, because they are busy eating, planning their leisure time or running errands. The true purpose of taking a break, namely getting some relaxation, often takes a back seat. Colouring, on the other hand, allows you to distract yourself and relax outside of regular breaks – very easily, without having to learn any specialist skills.”
Colouring is a straightforward way for adults to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s an effective leisure activity that also has something to offer in the workplace. Using your break in a positive manner is vital for sustained productivity and career success. Colouring inspiring templates is a quick and easy way of clearing mental blocks and reducing stress – benefits that are above all evident in the workplace.
Colouring for just a few minutes each day helps you relax and increases your motivation, whether you do your doodling while you’re on the telephone, waiting for colleagues to arrive for the next meeting or simply in order to spend a few minutes freeing your mind and recharging your batteries. And colouring is child’s play, breaks up the digital working day and can be done any time, anywhere. You don’t need to be particularly artistic: the creativity is in the use of different colours and shades.
Dr. Jürgen Hettler, specialist in internal medicine and psychotherapy at the Gezeiten Haus clinic, is convinced of the medical effectiveness of colouring: “One of the advantages of colouring is that everyone can go at their own speed – there's no time pressure, and this quickly creates a sense of calm and order. People who engage in colouring learn to focus again; the diffuse flow of thoughts slows down and gives way to a more serene concentration.”
- it’s meditative and relaxing
- it increases memory capacity
- it improves concentration
- it promotes logical thinking
- it trains fine motor skills
- it stimulates creativity
- it relaxes the eyes
- it reduces stress and anxiety
As the originator of the campaign, STAEDTLER is setting a good example. In future the company will be encouraging its staff to take their breaks, grab their pencils and colouring templates and switch off from work regularly during the course of the day.
Jutta Winkelsträter, STAEDTLER’s Head of HR, emphasises how important it is to have the support of senior management. “The physical and mental wellbeing of staff, which is the goal of every occupational health programme, is fundamental to productivity and motivation and is therefore crucial to the success of the company. But measures like these only work if they are supported at the highest levels.”
STAEDTLER is especially keen to raise awareness of its campaign themes amongst HR managers. “We are firmly convinced that our approach could benefit many other companies. One of the big advantages is that it’s so easy to put into practice. The key thing is to make people aware of what this technique can achieve,” says Winkelsträter.