Are Breaks During the Workday all that Helpful?

by | Aug 26, 2020 | Best Practices, MyTek Blog


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Modern society is greatly focused on the virtue of hard work, of productivity. This has led to a kind of unspoken prejudice against breaks in the workplace, that any break that is not earned is the sign of an unproductive employee. As it turns out, the opposite is true. This week, we’re going over how you can turn your breaks into a way to accomplish more in the workplace.

The “Work First” Mentality

For many, the very concept of a break is itself a dirty word. In fact, many North American employees (20 percent of them) think that taking a lunch break will negatively impact their boss’ view of them, while some (13 percent) are concerned that their coworkers will think less of them.

A lunch break.

The thing that many states legally require them to take.

For goodness sake, 38 percent don’t feel encouraged to take a lunch break… and no wonder, when 22 percent of North American bosses say that taking a lunch break makes them “less hardworking.”

Of course, there is evidence to support that the exact opposite is the case. One survey measured that 90 percent (a clear majority) of North American workers cite their lunch break as the reason that they work as well as they do in the afternoon, refreshed by their respite.

Of course, the half-hour-to-an-hour that an employee is granted to eat lunch (and run whatever errands they need to run) isn’t the only time that an employee can—or should—take a break. The average workday presents many opportunities for a break to become an asset to the business’ organizational productivity.

The Length of the Break Doesn’t Always Matter

When you think of a “break” in the workday sense, it’s safe to assume that you are thinking of a 15-minute increment of time. For our purposes, let’s agree upon that measurement.

Not many people take what are referred to as “microbreaks” into consideration. As their name would suggest, these breaks are much shorter than the 15 minutes we’ve established that breaks are best known to take. These microbreaks could range from 15 seconds to 5 minutes, from the quick second to clear your head to the moment it takes to refill your water bottle.

Breaks like these have shown to improve mental acuity and sharpness by 13 percent each…and taking a few seconds every ten minutes to look away from your screen to clear your head? Doing so can halve the fatigue you feel. These microbreaks have shown to have various benefits to users, not the least of which being considerable advances to productivity.

Do you have pain in your hands, wrists, and/or forearms? Taking five minutes each hour to recover can help get rid of that pain.

So, it’s clear that breaks can benefit your team, and—as counterintuitive as it may seem—they have clear benefits to your operational productivity. Therefore, it only makes sense that you encourage your team to ease back every so often to collect themselves.

For the solutions that enable your team to work even more productively when they aren’t breaking, reach out to MyTek. We offer solutions that can keep your IT in tip-top shape, and your employees working efficiently. Reach out to MyTek to learn more about what we have to offer.


Tim - Team

Tim Tiller, LMSW

Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.


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