Many employees are used to working indefinitely without taking a break. The excuses for not taking breaks could be a high workload, a deadline, a long-term sick colleague, or an urgent request from that hugely important client.
In order to stay sharp and focused, it is very important to take a break despite all those urgent matters. It can be a 10-minute break, a longer break, but also a break in the form of a short holiday.
Taking a break leads to breakthroughs
When you just can’t figure it out, when your mind gets stuck on the same problem, it’s best to take a break or do something completely different for a while. Trying the same thing over and over again will lead to nothing. For example:
- Clear out your inbox or answer a few emails
- Read a book or magazine (not digital)
- Clear out your desk or office
- Take on a simple task
- Use a brain training app on your mobile phone
- Enjoy a sweet refreshment
For example, a study of call centre employees who took regular breaks found that their enthusiasm and commitment to their work increased. This had a measurable impact on sales figures (and thus the company’s bottom line).
So, taking a break improves focus and concentration and provides the opportunity for an employee’s mental reset. After a break, work can resume with more energy and motivation. Working without taking one or more breaks only leads to mental and physical fatigue. It can even lead to burnout in the long run.
Take a break and recharge your motivation
Taking regular breaks gives employees time to recharge and rest themselves. After a break, employees are more motivated and go to work with more energy than before the break.
Determine your own break times
When the employer provides the space for it, you can take a break at your own discretion. According to scientists, breaks work better if you can determine when the break is taken. This leads to better insights and less impasses than when a break is compulsorily prescribed.
Take time away from your office
When you take a break, make the effort to leave your office and certainly do not stay behind your computer screen. When you have the opportunity, go outside into nature. According to studies, this promotes a positive mood and reduces negative feelings. When time is spent in nature, heart rate and muscle tension are lowered within minutes. When at least 20 minutes are spent in nature, blood pressure also goes down.
Take a proper lunch break for additional benefits
Longer breaks provide the opportunity for non-work related tasks to be performed, for example, running errands, planning a dental visit or even exercising. This creates a better work-life balance. It also gives colleagues the opportunity to get to know each other better outside work, for example during a walk together. This, in turn, promotes cooperation and communication.