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The importance of taking a break — why time out is time well spent

The importance of taking a break — why time out is time well spent
3rd July 2019

The importance of taking a break — why time out is time well spent

Time and time again research has shown that a staggeringly low number of us take a proper lunchbreak. Instead of going for a walk outdoors or simply taking time away from our screens, the majority of us eat at our desks, either browsing the internet or even continuing to work.

In today’s culture of round the clock business, this surely comes as no surprise. However, far from demonstrating commitment to hard work and productivity, this lack of lunch time could be having a serious impact on workplace wellbeing, health, and ultimately business productivity.

In fact, many studies have shown that workers who do take a proper lunchbreak feel vastly happier and more positive. Just a few of the reported benefits include:

  • Improved health and mental wellbeing. Stress is incredibly common in the workplace, especially in today’s global working climate, where the market never sleeps. Taking some time to go for a quick walk or enjoy a healthy lunch helps release some of this stress and improves mental wellbeing.

  • Boosted creativity. It’s extremely difficult to develop new ideas or solutions after looking at the same problem all day. Taking a break helps the mind refresh, offering a new perspective and helping to reach the right solution faster.

  • Increased productivity. It may seem that any time spent not doing work is time not well spent. However, stepping away from a screen and desk for short periods helps to renew focus and energy, enabling employees to maintain productivity well into the afternoon and avoid the dreaded 4pm slump.

Millions of working days a year are lost due to work-related stress, and anything employers can do to encourage wellbeing and minimise stress in the workplace will be beneficial to the whole business.

Here are some simple tips for fostering a healthy working structure, and encouraging your staff to make the most of their break time.

  1. Lead by example. If you work through lunch, your employees will feel pressured to do the same.

  2. Establish a workplace environment that encourages time away from the screen. Create a designated space or room where employees can retreat whenever they need a bit of time out. Offer some comfortable furniture that encourages relaxation, as well as separate tables and chairs for eating, so employees aren’t tempted to eat at their desks.

  3. Many employees aren’t aware of the detrimental effect a lack of breaks can have on their health and productivity. Implement a workplace wellness programme that describes the benefits of taking time out during the day, and offer some incentives for taking regular breaks. You could even supply healthy snack options to encourage healthy eating as an additional benefit.

Breaks are essential to helping employees destress and recharge during the working day. Establishing a workplace environment in which breaks are encouraged and supported will have a huge positive effect on your workforce, and ultimately on your bottom line, too.

This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.

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