Research suggests we work in 60- to 90-minute bursts of energy; so, after every 90 minutes, you should try and take a short break. I’m a worrier and not a warrior, and, I know, some of you are worriers, too. I worry about taking breaks from work as it might impact my productivity or appraisal. Most of us are super occupied at work and tend to forget to take a break, which often results in poor mental and physical health. Thus, a work break is crucial to replenish the employees’ creative energies and plays a vital role in employee healthcare.
Why Employee Healthcare Matters?
Do not wait until you’re so exhausted that you recognize, “Oh, now I’m sick and bound to slow down.” Any company’s survival depends on its ability to innovate, and innovation comes from a relaxed mind. Work breaks are apparently the best way to relax your mind. Taking breaks from the focused work allows a person’s mind to wander, think, and explore. When you stop thinking about a problem, an idea comes through and helps you resolve an issue. Also having an employee healthcare plan helps to motivate your team for better productivity.
In work environments, where there are emails, meetings, conference calls, unplanned urgent tasks, and texts that demand your attention, how can you plan your breaks, which could improve your thoughts and overall health? Peter Drucker, an educator, and author of 39 books say one should follow effective action with quiet reflection. So, it’s not just the reflection before the activity or during the same, but also once it is over.
Taking a break is essential and using it in the best way possible to recharge is even more crucial. So, how do you ensure that you are fully charged when you come back from a break?
Let’s dig a little deeper into this:
- If you work for eight hours a day, in addition to your lunch break, you should also think about a mid-morning and mid-afternoon break, as per your chronotype.
- Take at least 10-15 minutes of two to three breaks apart from the lunch break.
- Go outside and consume natural sunlight. The power of nature is the best energy booster. It not only provides a deeper sense of rest but also unlocks specific creative flows in human psychology.
- Don’t carry your phone when taking a break. Leave your phone inside the office and distance yourself from the workplace as much as possible. It’s like stepping away, pulling back from a problem, and focusing on something else. It will completely recharge your mind.
- Find company when you take a break and don’t talk about work while you walk outside the office premises in an open area. Distancing from work is critical when you take a break.
- These steps will help you reconsider the concerns at work with a fresh perspective when you are back at your desk.
- As an employer, you may also want to make the breaks a mandate to improve productivity and employee healthcare.
If you are aware of the benefits that breaks can bring to your work life but are struggling to come out of the habit of neglecting break habits, here are some cool tips to help you step away from work and restore your energy.
- You can use a sticky note or set a reminder on your laptop or mobile, reminding you to take a break.
- Make sure a break means a break. Do or talk about something that you enjoy. Do some activity or talk about the things that relax you and pump you with fresh energy.
- Don’t go on a break alone. Set predefined break times with your colleagues and stick to the break schedule. You can plan this at the beginning of the day based on your calendar.
- Remember the positive effects that work breaks bring in your life to feel inspired about future work breaks.
- If you are an employer, make sure all your employees take a work break for better mental health and good employee healthcare.
Closing Thoughts on Employee Health
Taking breaks and having an exercise routine will become the new normal in the workplace to ensure top-notch performance. As per a study conducted at the University of Illinois, the human brain’s focusing abilities drop as a person continues to focus on the same task, thereby reducing his ability to concentrate and hampering his performance.
“When completing time-consuming tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing the taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will help you stay focused on your task,” said lead researcher, Professor Alejandro Lleras.
Physical and mental health is equal and, in fact, connected and should be treated as such. Any long-term project tends to get time-consuming and cannot be completed if the person burns himself out. Now, it’s time you take a break before you go back to work. Remember, work break is directly proportional to good employee healthcare.