Why Breaks at Work Are Vitalpdtcseo
Taking breaks at work is vital to employee well-being (win for them!) as well as employee productivity (win for you!).
As business owners, you likely find yourself in burnout mode quite often. There’s so much to do, every day, every week, every month. Taking a break is time that’s not spent productively, so it’s easy to feel guilty about taking them. Breaks are for weekends or evenings, or for when you’re dead. Breaks at work will just set you further behind, right? Ain’t no one got time for that.
Benefit of Employee Breaks at Work
Taking a break at work improves focus upon return to work, thus improving productivity. Plus, taking breaks relieves stress, which improves your employee’s mental health and overall wellbeing. Study after study has been done showing that frequent and reliable breaks at work contribute to increased job satisfaction. Employees who are satisfied with their job miss fewer days, do better work, and work for you for longer. You can read a bit about it here.
In a creative field, a quick break can also boost creativity and problem solving skills when they’re experiencing a block. A quick walk during breaks at work is great for physical health, mental health, and if outside, also gets some sunshine and Vitamin D synthesis going.
Benefit of Business Owners Taking Breaks at Work
It sounds lame and we know it, but taking breaks and prioritizing your own health and wellbeing sets the example for your employees. Even if you encourage breaks for your employees, it sends a mixed message if they never see you taking one. It may feel like you only say you allow (or expect) breaks, when really you don’t want them to take one.
Distance also allows for some perspective. If you’re trapped in indecision, take a break and allow your subconscious to get to work on it while you focus on something else, like having fun or relaxing…or actually eating lunch. You may just find that the solution comes to you without all the effort of racking your brain at your desk for hours and hours.
Ultimately, your business can’t run without you. So if by taking care of yourself, you are taking care of your business, regardless of how counterintuitive it feels.
Breaks at work avoid burnout for employees and owners alike, which should be the goal of every business for optimal functioning.
Our Favorite Ways to Take Breaks at Work
One or all of us will load up into whomever’s car will fit all of us, and we’ll run to a nearby gas station. Liquid refreshments, caffeine, a snack – whatever people need. Drink runs only take 15-20 minutes and do wonders on our morale when we’re having a tough day or we’re gearing up for a busy one.
We can either talk about work in a new environment, which helps to clear up designer’s block, or talk about nothing at all, which helps to decompress and get some space. Plus snacks help everyone’s mood, regardless of the situation at hand. Plus we’re all caffeine addicted, so drink runs are our favorite way to take breaks at work.
Whether it’s just heading downstairs and walking around the building a couple of times, or a 15 minute jaunt through the nearby neighborhood, a walk has so many benefits. You can enjoy the healthy perks of adding an additional 2000 steps or so to your daily count (more, if you take more than one!).There are also added endorphins and the mood boost of getting some sunshine and fresh air. A walk is a great way to clear your head, get a change of scenery, and listen to a book, music, or the sounds of nature.
We’ve been known to set a 15 minute alarm on our phone and lay our head on the desk or even curl up on the floor. We love this especially on occasions of a bad night’s sleep, or when we’re feeling slightly under the weather.
It’s also been used on occasions of I’m-about-to-cry-and-need-to-power-down-for-a-bit, though.
Obviously we’re proponents of eating lunch every day. Food is necessary for nourishing the body and brain. It’s a reliable break employees and owners alike should be able to count on every day to reset their day before jumping back in.
Bonus points if you’re able to eat lunch with a friend and talk about anything but work. Or, if you prefer, to put headphones in and listen to music or a book and check out for 30-60 minutes.
Hint: you can also combine a lunch break with any of the above break options for a double-whammy break!
The Bottom Line
Breaks at work are a vital part of employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity. They’re also a great way for owners to ‘fill their cup’ and contribute to their business by taking care of themselves. Let us know what your thoughts are on breaks! Do you agree, or do you believe in working until the day ends?