You’ve been working non-stop for the past 3 hours, and you decide you could use a little break. What do you do? Do you go for some coffee, talk to a colleague, scroll through social media, or spend time standing and stretching? In order to maximize our break time we need to know, how we take breaks and when to take a break. With little time to waste during a day it's important we really utilize this time.
But what type of break should you be taking? A study done by the University of Illinois recommends taking a break every hour. However the reality is not everybody has the ability to take a break every hour. Heck, majority of us have meetings that are 2-3 hours long. And while it would be great to get your entire meeting group to take a break together, that can be a challenge.
A study by Staples claimed that, 66% of employees spend more than 8 hours a day at work, and quarter of them don’t even take a break for lunch? Crazy, right? How can one be so busy or stressed, they can't find time for food? What this survey continues to talk about is, how 1 in 5 respondents claims guilt as the reason they don’t step away from their desk. This creates a negative work environment, and a toxic work culture. But there are many workplaces just like this, where taking a break is percieved as being "lazy" or "not working hard".
When the truth is, there are so many reasons on why to take breaks. Breaks improve our focus, productivity, energy levels, and mood. While also, reduce our stress levels, risk of error, and musculoskeletal pain. If we don't take time for ourselves, it can quickly become impossible to take care of everything else.
With all the different strategies out there, how do you choose what is best for you? With different jobs, positions, and schedules, taking breaks isn't a "one size fits all" approach. Employees need breaks at different times and different moments in the day, that fit them and their work-style. Here are some of the most popular break techniques for a more productive day.
Now that you have some ideas of when to take breaks. Here are some great guidelines on taking breaks at work.