Life outside of work: Why having a hobby matters

Hobbies matter in the corporate world as they boost well-being, reduce stress, and prevent burnout. They nurture creativity, diverse skills, and innovative thinking. Balancing work with hobbies improves time management and overall productivity. Hobbies also aid networking among colleagues with shared interests, fostering a positive work environment that values personal growth.

Podcast Audio Transcript

Alisha: Hello listeners, this is Alisha; thank you for tuning in to yet another exciting and informative podcast from us at Infosys BPM. Today, we are discussing about the significance of hobbies for leaders. And to talk about this, we have here with us, Mamta Thapliyal, AVP & HR Business Leader - Americas. Welcome Mamta. How are you?

Mamta: I’m doing good Alisha. Nice to be back here.

Alisha: Great to hear that. So, Mamta, many people believe that the only way to succeed in their career is to devote all of their time and energy to work. However, research has shown that having hobbies outside of work can actually enhance productivity and job satisfaction.

Can you tell us why hobbies are important for leaders and employees?

Mamta: That’s a great question, Alisha.

Hobbies are incredibly important for leaders and employees due to several reasons. One of the main reasons is that hobbies can reduce stress and anxiety, which can in turn improve overall job performance and productivity. Employees who participate in leisure activities outside of work are able to recover from work-related stress more effectively. This can ultimately lead to improved work performance and a greater sense of well-being.

Additionally, hobbies can provide a much-needed break from work and help individuals recharge themselves. When we engage in activities that we enjoy, we release feel-good chemicals like dopamine and endorphins, which can improve our mood and overall outlook on life. This, in turn, can help us approach our work with a more positive attitude and renewed energy. Moreover, hobbies can also help individuals develop new skills that can be useful in the workplace.

Hobbies that require attention to detail, such as knitting or woodworking, can help improve focus and concentration, which can be useful in any job. Engaging in physical activities such as yoga or running can help improve overall health and reduce the probability of sickness, leading to improved job performance. Hobbies that involve learning new skills or taking on new challenges can help develop a growth mindset, which can be beneficial in any role.

Alisha: You are correct. As you mentioned in the case of knitting, the person needs to focus on the pattern and follow a specific sequence of steps to create the desired outcome. This requires paying attention to detail and following the pattern accurately.

In case of leadership development also, hobbies tend to be important. How specifically can hobbies aid in improving leadership skills in your opinion?

Mamta: There are several hobbies that can help improve leadership skills. For example, playing team sports such as basketball or soccer can help develop teamwork and collaboration skills, which are essential for effective leadership. Hiking or other outdoor activities can help develop resilience and problem-solving skills, which can be useful in managing complex projects. Engaging in creative hobbies such as painting or writing can help develop innovative thinking and new perspectives.

Alisha: Totally agree! Consistent growth is so important in any role these days.

Can you give us some examples of successful leaders who have hobbies that may have contributed to their success?

Mamta: Sure, Alisha. There are several leaders we know of who have developed hobbies to aid in their success.

Did you know that the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffet plays the ukulele? He says that this has helped him develop strategic thinking and risk management skills.

David Solomon, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, is also a professional DJ and has played gigs in New York City. This hobby allows him to connect with people outside of his professional network and build relationships with clients and employees.

Similarly, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is known to be an avid reader, which has helped him develop a long-term vision for his company.

Alisha: I know a few other leaders who are avid readers as well, including Infosys founder NRN and Microsoft Chairman Satya Nadella.

So, what are some tips for leaders and employees to incorporate hobbies into their busy schedules?

Mamta: It’s a good question, Alisha. One way to incorporate hobbies into a busy schedule is to set aside dedicated time each week for leisure activities. This can be as simple as scheduling a daily 30-minute walk or setting aside an hour each week for a creative activity.

Another way to incorporate hobbies is finding ways to integrate them into work activities. For example, if you enjoy hiking, you could organize a hike for like-minded employees, and that could be an employee engagement activity. If you enjoy painting, you could make that a team-building exercise by having interested employees paint something together.

Alisha: Those are some great tips, Mamta. So, in summary, hobbies can be a great way to reduce stress and improve mental health, develop important leadership and employee skills, and even contribute to overall success. Thank you for joining us today, Mamta, and sharing your insights on this important topic.

Mamta: It was a pleasure, Alisha. Thank you for having me.

Alisha: Dear listeners, if you enjoyed our podcast today, please don’t forget to share and like it on social media. Our social handles are mentioned in the podcast page. The podcast will be available on various platforms like Google Podcasts and Spotify, in addition to our website.

Also, if you have any queries, do reach out to us through the email address on the podcast description. Watch this space for more exciting podcasts coming up. Once again, thank you for tuning in, stay safe, sharp, and healthy. Have a nice day!

Recent Podcasts