Everyone wants to excel at their job. Taking pride in your work is good for your mental health and ensures you are doing your best. Companies can accomplish more when their employees are trying to give their best performance to their clients and customers.

However, working too hard can be a hindrance. If employees work until they are burned out, productivity is affected and overall morale will begin to decline. Every good company will encourage its employees to take breaks to remain fresh throughout their shifts and keep their performance high.

How Taking Breaks Improves Productivity

Taking breaks while working or studying can seem like it is counter productive. How can you get more work done if you are sitting around and doing nothing? However, stopping your duties for a few minutes to get a snack and rest can help you re-focus on the task at hand. If you get overextended during work, you will begin to make mistakes.

Statistics on Taking Breaks

Studies show that taking a regular break benefits employees and the company. Here are some statistics that show how important breaks are.

  • 94% of workers are happier when they are allowed a break.
  • A few minutes spent outside can boost productivity by 45%.
  • 78% of workers say that taking lunch away from their desks improves their job performance.
  • 93% of bosses agree that taking a break helps to maintain mental focus.
  • 39% of employees feel more productive after taking a break.
  • 19% of younger employees have too many meetings to attend to take a full lunch hour.
  • Many states have laws on how many breaks an employee should have during the day and their duration.

5 Reasons Every Employee Needs Time to Recharge

There are countless reasons why everyone should take a break during their workday to unwind for a few minutes. These can involve productivity for the company or the employee’s well-being. Here are a few of the most important reasons to take a break.

1. Restores Focus 

Wondering how taking breaks improves productivity? As the workday goes on, it can be easy for your mind to wonder about the tasks you have to do after work and the chores waiting at home. Taking a break helps to redirect your energy to the work needed to be done.

2. Increases Creativity

Some of a company’s best ideas are thought of by the employees on the floor. Recharging with regular break periods can help keep the brain working. You may see a product or process that can be improved and bring it up to your supervisor. Your rested body and mind could be an asset to the company.

3. Increases Job Satisfaction

Talking to someone who hates their job will reveal that they are overworked. Either they work long days, or they have to go long periods without a break. These conditions can wear on you, physically and mentally, and cause you to dread going to work.

4. Promotes Healthy Habits

When employees are encouraged to take regular break periods, they will be more likely to make better eating choices since they can have small healthy snacks throughout the day. They will also stay hydrated, making them feel better throughout the day.

5. Creates a Safer Environment

Tired people make poor decisions. They rush to accomplish a task or lose focus on their work throughout the day. People with the opportunity to sit down and take their minds off work for a few minutes will make safer decisions and be less likely to get hurt at work.

How To Encourage Employees To Take Breaks

If a supervisor or manager tells an employee to take a break, they should ensure it happens. Give the worker a set time to take their break, and bring someone to their work area to cover while they are gone. If you tell them to take a break and then walk away, their mind may get focused on their task and they could forget to go.

One of the best ways to encourage employees to take breaks is to send them as a group. This may not work in retail settings. However, factories and production lines can be shut down for 15 minutes while everyone takes a few moments to recharge.

Another way to show employees how important taking a break is would be for their supervisors to take one for themselves. If they see that their boss is not afraid to stop working to take a regular break, they are more likely to do it as well, leading to positive change in the company’s culture.  

3 Ways of Taking Breaks at Work

Most workers only get 10-15 minutes for a break and a longer period for meals. That is not usually enough time to do anything like go home for a nap. But there are activities you can do that will give your mind a rest so you will be ready to continue working.

1. Find a Blog You Enjoy

There are blogs on virtually any subject. Go to some of the top blogging sites like Blogger or Substack on your phone and subscribe to a few that you find interesting. Most blog posts are short enough to read on your break.

2. Have a Cup of Coffee

Caffeine is a great way to give yourself a little pick-up in energy to continue working. If you get drowsy in the afternoon, have a small cup of coffee on your break to help you get through the end of the day. Be sure not to drink too much, or you may have trouble sleeping at night.

3. Meditate

Many people laugh it off, but breathing exercises and meditation can help reduce stress. Doing this for a few minutes during your break period can help you stay centered and focused.

How Do You Encourage Employees to Take a Break? 

While it may seem like nothing is getting done when employees are taking breaks, getting a regular period to rest can be a boost to a company’s productivity. Employees who are encouraged to take a break during their workday are happier, safer, and more likely to enjoy the work they do.

About the Author, James Webster

James Webster, founder and Executive Chairman of ROK Financial has almost two decades of experience within the financial services industry. His passion for helping small business owners and his innovative way of thinking, has allowed him to run multiple successful businesses including National Business Capital & Services. Under the National name, the team was able to help secure over $1 Billion in financing for small businesses nationwide.