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Improving Employee Well-being by Encouraging Staff Breaks

Posted on October 18th 2019 by Chloe Harris.

Canteen Furniture - Improving Employee Well-being

Staff breaks are a key contributing factor towards the improvement of employee well-being. Canteens and break areas play a big part in why your staff may not be taking their allocated breaks, which in turn can affect whether the workforce is productive. The basic level for a canteen area is cleanliness, so staff have somewhere hygienic to eat or make drinks. However, there is much more to a canteen than just basics, by creating a comfortable and enticing area for staff they will be more likely to take their breaks fully. Employees not having their full breaks may seem like a small inconvenience however this can impact staff well-being and productivity so it is important.

Why breaks are important.

  1. Increased productivity. Taking breaks helps staff to refocus and come back to their tasks with a fresh pair of eyes.
  2. Creative boosts. As employees loose productivity throughout the day they also may struggle to come up with that creative idea, taking a break can help get those ideas flowing.
  3. Metal well-being. Taking breaks helps to relieve the stresses that mount up during the day. Without a break employees have no time to wind down and recharge throughout the day.
  4. Encourage healthy habits. Lunch breaks allow time for healthy habits, and this can be encouraged. Taking walks, meditating or reading over breaks can help refresh staff for their last few hours of work.

Types of Breaks and How they Help.

  • Microbreak – these are between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. Just one Microbreak a day can improve metal acuity by 13% on average. Why not go and make yourself and your colleagues a drink?
  • Screen Break – 15 seconds taken every 10 minutes. This can reduce fatigue by up to 50%. Look away from you screen, a 20ft gaze can relieve eye strain.
  • Wrist/hand Break – 5 minutes each hour. For those who suffer from pain in they’re arms, wrists and hands this can reduce or eliminate pain. Stretch out your hands and arms, while reading a document to take a break from typing.
  • Minibreak – 1 and half minutes or 2 minutes, regularly when required. These can increase productivity by 6.45% and 11.15% retrospectively.
  • Distraction – Surf the web to answer that question or a short chat (less than 20% of your daily work time). This can improve productivity by 9%.
  • Lunch Break – Take your allocated lunch break, move away from your desk. Why not sit in the canteen, taking a break from the screens.

Encouraging your Staff to Take Breaks

Some staff may feel as though they shouldn’t take their breaks if they are discouraged from this previously or in other workplaces. There are some ways that staff can be encouraged to take their breaks. Ensuring the management take breaks is a good way to encourage staff to take breaks as they can see that all staff including their managers make time for their breaks. Discussing the benefits to breaks with your team is important, some staff they feel they are more productive by working all throughout the day however the above facts prove this to be a myth. Revamping kitchen and canteen areas is a great way to encourage, as if the current break rooms are dated or uncomfortable this may be why staff do not use them.





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