Employees need breaks during the work day to stay productive. According to a study by the University of Illinois, workers who take regular breaks are more efficient than those who do not. They are also less likely to experience burnout.
However, many employers struggle with how best to structure these breaks so that employees can recharge and return to their work refreshed. Many companies have implemented policies allowing employees to take short breaks throughout the day, but some experts argue this is not enough.
This article will explore some tips for improving employee productivity through better office break management.
1. Encourage employees to take their full allotted break time.
When you give employees a set amount of time for their break, emphasize that they should use all of that time. This can be challenging to do in a fast-paced work environment, but it is essential to encourage employees to step away from their desks and take a proper break.
One way to do this is to provide a designated break area away from employees’ workstations. This will help to create a physical separation between work and leisure time. You can use this area to provide amenities that will help employees relax, such as comfortable furniture, TVs, or games. You should also use soundproofing insulation to minimize noise from the rest of the office.
You can also encourage employees to take their full break time by having them log out of their work computers when they are done for the day. It will help create a clear boundary between work and personal time. Try to have employees leave their work area entirely so they can fully detach from their job.
2. Create a schedule for longer breaks.
While it is essential to encourage employees to take their full break time, you also need to be aware of when employees are taking their breaks. If everyone takes their break at the same time, it can disrupt the flow of work.
To avoid this, you can create a schedule for when employees can take their breaks. This will help distribute the gaps throughout the day so that work is not interrupted. You can also use this schedule to stagger break times so that not everyone is away from their desk simultaneously.
If you can, you should also create a policy where employees are not allowed to take phone calls or work on projects during their break time. This will help them to relax and recharge truly.
3. Let employees choose when to take their breaks.
Not every employee will want to take their break when you schedule it for them. Some prefer to take their break in the morning, while others prefer to take it in the afternoon.
You can let employees choose when to take their break to accommodate this. This will help ensure that they can take their break at a time that works best for them. This also lets them work at the time that they are most productive.
When you let employees choose when to take their break, you should still have a set time limit for how long they can be away from work. This will help ensure that employees do not abuse the privilege and that work does not suffer as a result. Look for a balance that works for your company.
4. Give employees additional break time on days when they need it.
There will be days when employees need a little extra break time. This could be because they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. During these days, you should let employees take a more extended break. It will help them recharge and return to work feeling refreshed.
You can also give employees additional break time on days they have accomplished a lot. This will help reinforce their good behavior and give them a well-deserved break. Give employees this break time as a reward for a job well done.
5. Encourage employees to take vacation days.
Small breaks throughout the day are necessary, but employees also need to take longer breaks from work. This is why it is vital to encourage employees to take vacation days. Vacation days will help employees to recharge and return to work feeling refreshed.
When you encourage employees to take vacation days, you should also ensure that they can fully disconnect from work. This means they should not have to check their work email or take work calls while on vacation. Avoid scheduling meetings or deadlines during this time so that employees can truly relax.
Breaks are an essential part of maintaining employee productivity. By creating a schedule and encouraging employees to take their full break time, you can help jumpstart their productivity. With the right approach, you can create a productive and healthy workplace.