Breaks at Work: Helpful or Hurtful?

Breaks are those short gaps in time that you or your employees can take to put some mental distance between yourselves and the work you’re doing. Sometimes the workload can be so overwhelming or so hefty that it can tempt you to forsake a break.

Also read: How to Design an Office for Maximizing Employee Happiness

You may think, for example, that you’ll never get finished with your work on time if you dare to take that 15 minutes. That break may actually be beneficial and necessary for productivity. Here’s why:

Breaks Keep the Brain Fresh and Alert

A good 10 or 15-minute break is an excellent way to keep your brain juices flowing and eliminate boredom. Shifting from your work duties to something else will “wake” up your brain and get it cranking.

That will cause you to have a fresh sense of motivation. When you go back to your work, you’ll feel fresh like you did when you first went in.

Breaks Make Work Seem Shorter

Breaking up your workday will make it seem much shorter than it is. There’s something about staying in the same place for eight hours in a row that makes it seem as if it’s never-ending. Try taking a 10-minute break and completely change the scenery. Go outside. Take a short walk, and then return to work.

You’ll be surprised at how refreshed and rejuvenated you are. Alternatively, you can take 10 minutes to read a book, watch a TV show or listen to some music. Your day will seem to pass faster than usual.

Breaks Decrease Your Stress Level

Short breaks can decrease your stress level by allowing you to break away from a situation that you may have had to spend a lot of time trying to resolve. For example, you may have been trying to learn the best language for web development.

Also read: 10 Ways to Fight Back Against Stress at Work

Stepping away from that project will allow you to take a deep breath and then return with a completely different outlook. Ideas may flow into your head the moment that you are able to relax.

Breaks Boost creativity

Separating yourself from the work tasks for a while will give you the opportunity to innovate. Brainstorming is much easier when you’re not under pressure and right in front of the job.

Some people have come up with their best ideas while they were on break, and they couldn’t wait until they got off break so that they could implement them.

What to Do on Break

There is no stone-set way of taking breaks that says that you have to do them a certain way. You should use them to do something that you enjoy or something that can benefit you from a health aspect.

Some suggestions for things you can do while you are on your break are cleaning, exercising, writing, drawing or meditating. All those methods can benefit you in some way.

Tips for Taking Breaks

There are a number of ways that you can manage your breaks. You can take a one-hour break in the middle of your eight-hour shift. You can take a half-hour break, or you can take 15-minute breaks.

You may want to give yourself several 15-minute breaks and then work in two-hour intervals. You may find that your workday goes by faster that way, and you maintain a lot more energy, as well. You should always ensure that you drink plenty of water throughout the course of your evening, and you get some exercise when you take your breaks. You’ll be more energetic and happy by the end of your shifts.

Now that you know some of the reasons that breaks are a good idea, you can start making sure that you get some regular breaks. You can ration your breaks out any way you like so that you’ll be more productive in the work that you do. Try it the next time you work.

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