In many workplaces, the culture assumes that workaholics are performing better than their counterparts. Taking a break during the workday can be viewed as a ‘waste of working time’. But is it really the case that those glued to their desks or chained to their phones all day are doing a better job?
Breaks in the workday hold many benefits, for both health and productivity reasons. Which should be reason enough to shift the culture at your workplace, but if you need a few more reasons for why taking a break at work should be part of your routine, there are a number of other benefits:
Improved mental wellbeing
A break lifts your mood, which can drop due to the psychological cost of working hard – happy people not only make for good company in the office as well as out of it, but they make for better employees as they tend to produce quality work and make fewer mistakes.
If you are tired or stressed at work, the likelihood is that you aren’t producing the quality of work you should be. You are more likely to feel unwell or even have to take time off work, which will put you further behind with your to-do list.
Better Physical Health
Not only is it recommended that you take a break from your screen every 50-60 minutes for 5 minutes to avoid eye strain, but taking a break from your desk is also good for your heart and could be good news for your waistline, according to research.
A quick walk will increase blood flow to the brain, which will, in turn, get your creative juices flowing more freely. Both Charles Darwin and Dickens took walks around London every hour as a break to working.
Did you know that the average concentration span in adults is just 14 minutes? In order to re-focus and do the best at the task in hand a short break is crucial to you completing the task to your best ability – this has been shown in studies and is referred to as “deactivation” and “reactivation” of the task.
As an increasing number of businesses recognize the enormous benefits of encouraging employees to take regular breaks, they are even reorganizing their working styles to accommodate them. You will regularly come across breakout areas in working environments from corporate headquarters to London’s small business centre, Shoreditch. The spaces offered for a bit of R&R are even becoming more varied – many workplaces include quiet rooms for relaxation and wellbeing, while Proper Office, a Shoreditch shared office space, offers clients access to its private roof garden.
Whether you’re taking in the views of the city or taking a short stroll, taking a step away from your work can have a number of benefits – and leave you refreshed and reenergized for the rest of your day.