Why Taking Office Breaks is Even More Important Than You Think
There is a misconception among many office workers, that they are simply too busy to take breaks at work. In many cases, even the lunch break becomes a sad scene of an employee slouched at his desk while holding a soggy sandwich in one hand and typing with the other hand.
But taking breaks at the office is incredibly important. In fact, if people were really aware of how important office breaks were, more employees would take them and more employers would insist on them.
Not convinced? Let’s take a look at some of the evidence.
Taking breaks helps to boost productivity.
While it may sound counter-intuitive, there is research that shows that taking regular breaks at the office can actually improve focus and boost productivity at work. When an employee focusses on something for too long, the gradually become less efficient. But even a short diversion can be enough for them to recharge and come back to the task with renewed focus and energy.
Taking breaks helps to reduce stress.
Having employees that are stressed out all the time can lead to all sorts of problems ranging from irritability and poor teamwork to health problems. When stress is long term, it can wreak havoc on the immune system and increase the risk of conditions such as anxiety, depression, headaches, and even heart disease.
Fewer office breaks mean more sitting.
We all know by now that too much sitting is not good for us, and office workers are especially at risk for health problems that can come with too much sitting. Studies have found that prolonged sitting in the workplace puts employees at risk for a plethora of health problems – and this is true even if they hit the gym after work or on the weekends.
Taking regular breaks however to get up, stretch, and move around helps to mitigate many of these risks.
How can employers encourage their employees to take breaks?
If your office culture is one in which employees frequently skip their breaks, it may take some time to change their mindset. It is important however that you take steps toward doing this if you wish to offset the negative effects of employees not taking breaks.
Here are a few ideas of how you can encourage more regular breaks in the workplace:
- Have an employee breakroom. This should be furnished with comfortable furniture and a table where employees can eat their lunch.
- Talk to your employees about the importance of taking breaks. This can be done during a staff meeting, staff workshop etc. When employees see that management is encouraging break taking, they may be more willing to take breaks.
- Encourage healthy activities like walking clubs.
- Lead by example. If you truly want to convey the message to your employees that it is ok to take care of yourself at work, you need to lead by example and be sure not to skip your own breaks either!
Encouraging healthy habits like break-taking and others among your employees can ensure that they are taking the time to care for their well-being. This can guarantee fewer employees fall ill and injured, maintaining productivity and financial savings.