Practical Tips for Encouraging Breaks:

Boosting Workplace Productivity: The Power of Regular Breaks

The idea of taking more breaks can sometimes seem counterintuitive – it shouldn’t. As employers, it’s crucial to recognise that encouraging regular breaks isn’t about reducing workload; it’s about fostering a culture of productivity and wellbeing.

Stepping away from your screen, taking short walks, and staying hydrated are not just minor distractions but powerful tools for enhancing employee performance. In this guide, we’ll explore how incorporating regular breaks into the workday can make your team more effective and ultimately lead to better business outcomes.

The Benefits of Taking Breaks:

• Improved Focus and Concentration: Research shows that taking short breaks throughout the day can help maintain focus and prevent mental fatigue. Stepping away from your desk allows your brain to recharge, making you more alert and attentive when you return to your tasks.

• Increased Creativity: Giving your mind a chance to wander during breaks can stimulate creativity and innovative thinking. Whether it’s a short stroll around the office or a change of scenery outdoors, taking breaks encourages fresh perspectives and new ideas.

• Enhanced Physical Health: Sitting for prolonged periods can have detrimental effects on physical health, including increased risk of musculoskeletal disorders and reduced cardiovascular health. Encouraging employees to take regular breaks promotes movement and reduces the negative impact of sedentary behaviour.

• Better Stress Management: Taking breaks provides an opportunity to step back from work-related stressors and engage in relaxation techniques. Whether it’s a few moments of deep breathing or a quick stretch, incorporating breaks into the workday can help employees manage stress more effectively.

Practical Tips for Encouraging Breaks:

1. Lead by Example: As leaders, it’s essential to model healthy behaviours by taking regular breaks ourselves. Encourage managers and senior staff to incorporate breaks into their daily routines, demonstrating the importance of prioritising wellbeing.

2. Create a Break-Friendly Environment: Provide designated break areas where employees can relax and recharge away from their desks. Consider offering amenities such as comfortable seating, refreshments, and access to outdoor spaces to encourage employees to take regular breaks.

3. Implement Break Policies: Establish clear guidelines around break times and durations to ensure consistency across the organisation. Encourage employees to schedule short breaks throughout the day and avoid working through lunch breaks.

4. Promote Hydration: Keeping hydrated is essential for maintaining energy levels and cognitive function. Encourage employees to drink plenty of water throughout the day by providing access to water coolers or supplying reusable water bottles.

5. Encourage Movement: Suggest simple ways for employees to incorporate movement into their breaks, such as taking a short walk around the office, stretching at their desk, or participating in group activities like office yoga or team walks.

6. Take short breaks often, rather than longer ones less often: For example 5 to 10 minutes every hour is better than 20 minutes every 2 hours. 

What health activities are right for your business?

By recognising the importance of regular breaks and actively promoting a break-friendly workplace culture, employers can support their staff in achieving optimal performance and wellbeing. Encouraging employees to step away from their screens, take short walks, and stay hydrated isn’t just about being more active; it’s about empowering individuals to be their best selves and contribute to the success of the organisation. 


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