Would you like to increase morale and productivity? There is a simple solution…give employees a break! More than 85% of employees believe taking regular breaks during the day would make them more productive, according to a study from Staples. However, many employees do not take regular breaks throughout their work day.
According to the study, 1 in 5 employees say they do not take breaks during the day due to guilt. However, 90% of employers say they encourage breaks. There is obviously a disconnect here. 55% of employees surveyed say they feel like they can’t leave their desk for a break, yet 86% of employees surveyed say that taking a break would make them more productive.
So what can employers do to encourage breaks throughout the day?
· Provide healthy snacks and beverages. Of the 200 office workers surveyed, 57% say they would like healthy snacks such as nuts, protein, fruit, and granola bars. Only 10% prefer chips, cookies, or candy. 63% of employees stated that if complimentary snacks were provided they would feel more appreciated.
· Provide a comfortable break room. A majority, 76%, stated that they could unwind and relieve more stress at work with a comfortable break room, yet 50% stated they do not have a properly furnished break room. 45% of employees stated they would use the breakroom if it had furniture that encouraged relaxation.
· Encourage employees to disconnect while on break. 25% of respondents don’t disconnect from work-related technology when they do take a break.
· Maintain a break-encouraging workplace culture. This helps reduce employee guilt from taking necessary breaks and makes breaks more effective. Ultimately, this will improve worker well-being and productivity. Don’t call an employee to your office while on break or constantly interrupt it. This will send a message that they shouldn’t be stepping away and will create the guilt that prevents employees from taking breaks.
With 66% of employees spending more than eight hours a day at work, it’s important for employees to step away periodically throughout the day to clear their mind and relax. 41% of employees feel burnt out from working longer days.
A survey by the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that sitting for long lengths of time, such as more than six hours per day, increase the chance of heart disease, obesity and diabetes by 18% compared to someone who sits for less than three hours per day. Employees should be encouraged to get up and move around throughout the day. Encourage walks around the building. Consider starting a lunch-time walking group. With employees staring at computers all day, it’s good for them to step away in order to prevent headaches and eye strain.
59% of employees say they would be happier at work if they had regular work breaks, 43% would expect to see a boost in personal happiness, and 37% say their health would improve. It’s important for employers to find ways to encourage your staff to take breaks throughout their day. Both the employer and the employee will benefit.
Sources: Staples.com, smallbusiness.chron.com