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How you can schedule breaks to increase employee productivity

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John Sherman
2018-07-09

Employers looking for ways to increase employee productivity may find that encouraging employees to take creative breaks could be an effective solution. Studies have shown that scheduled breaks can have a significant improvement on the physical and mental health of employees.

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Why Schedule Breaks for Employees?

Taking a break not only boosts physical health but can also improve emotional and mental health. As most of us are aware, job-related stress can take a heavy toll on productivity. Even just taking a five-minute break each hour can help employees return to work feeling more refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated.

Better Health

Overworked employees are much more likely to become ill. Even missing one day of work can create serious delays, which is why it’s important to support a healthy workplace. Allowing and even encouraging employees to take breaks on a regular basis can create a more positive and relaxed work environment.

The long-term physical and mental health benefits in the workplace cannot be denied. While some employees will willingly take breaks, others will push themselves until they are exhausted. For this reason, employers might wish to consider instituting a policy of required scheduled breaks.

Rejuvenated Mental Health

It’s entirely possible for employees to work too hard. This is particularly true for employees who can set their own schedule. The issue is that continual stimulation can have a negative effect on the brain.

Taking a break for even a few minutes can help employees feel more revitalized and come back to work with renewed sharpness and clarity. Physical movement can also help get oxygen and blood flowing to the brain, which allows employees to work to their full ability.

Encouraging a Positive Work Environment

Regardless of the type of business you run, the work environment can affect the overall productivity of your company. Scheduling regular breaks shows employees that you appreciate them.

This type of policy will ensure employees know they a part of an organization that cares about them, their health, and their happiness. When employees are happy where they work, they naturally tend to be more productive.

Improved Communication

Many employees are shy about asking for breaks even when they need them. As a result, they often work up to and past the point of exhaustion.

By scheduling regular breaks, employers can remove some of the burden on employees who might be nervous about speaking up when they need rest. When people feel more comfortable about communicating, the workplace will naturally function better.

How Often Should You Schedule Breaks for Employees?

According to experts, the longest employees should work before taking a break is 90 minutes. In an ideal situation, employees should work for one hour or less before taking a short break.

With that said, the way you choose to schedule breaks for employees may be determined by your workflow patterns and corporate culture. Below are a few popular ways to schedule breaks for your employees to help boost productivity.

Pomodoro Technique – Also known as the 25/5 split, this strategy allows employees to work 25 minutes at a time before taking a short 5-minute break. After four 25-minute work sessions, employees then take a longer 15-minute break. The goal of this strategy is to maximize an employee’s attention span.

50 On and 10 Off – With this strategy, employees work for 50 minutes and then take a 10-minute break. This strategy works well for employees who have longer attention spans.

Getting the Most from Breaks

  • Taking a short walk
  • Exercising at their desks, such as yoga or stretching
  • Making healthy snacks available
  • Meditating

Courses to Facilitate Scheduling Breaks and Boosting Employee Productivity

Rethinking Motivation and Productivity in the Workplace

This course offers scientific research and an innovative model for increasing motivation levels in the workplace.

Reduce Your Stress and Anxiety: Practicing a Simple Meditation

This course can help employees to dramatically reduce their anxiety and stress levels. The lectures contained in this course shows employees an easy-to-learn way to practice effective, yet powerful meditation techniques that will provide physical and mental relief.

Healthy Eating at Work

Although many people have a fairly good idea of what’s good for them and what’s not when it comes to eating, it can still be a struggle to eat healthy at work. Even so, learning how to maintain a healthy diet in the workplace, including snacking on breaks, can go a long way toward helping employees feel more productive.

This course shows employees how to stay healthy at work by making better food and beverage choices. Employees can eat smarter by choosing healthier places and times to eat.

Employers are not completely responsible for employee productivity, but making the effort to encourage employees to take regular breaks can help employees feel more comfortable about stepping away for a few minutes. That alone can aid in boosting employee morale and productivity.

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