Some bosses believe employee breaks are a waste of time. But a growing body of evidence suggests that taking a constructive break from a mental task improves productivity.
For example, a NASA study of pilots on long-haul flights found that those who took turns having brief midflight naps showed a 16% improvement in reaction times after napping, while non-napping pilots experienced a 34% deterioration in reaction time.
Like muscles, the brain becomes fatigued with sustained use and needs time to recover. A short break can help get the creative juices flowing again. In fact, most people will readily agree their most creative thoughts come during moments of rest or reflection.
As well, there is substantial evidence that physically moving around stimulates blood flow and leads to oxygenation in the brain, which increases energy and attentiveness.
There are numerous productive ways to take a break. The ideas below will help employees regenerate. (Note that checking Facebook isn’t among them.)
Take a walk: Get some fresh air and a change of scene.
Take a catnap: Close your eyes for 15 or 20 minutes and let your mind wander.
Chat with a friend or colleague to get a new perspective on the task at hand.
Run an errand or do a nonwork-related chore.
Go to the gym and get some exercise.
These and other activities can boost their productivity and sense of well-being. Just be sure your employees don’t use break time as an opportunity to procrastinate.
- News Flash: Employee Breaks Actually Increase Productivity -
Some bosses believe employee breaks are a waste of time. But a growing body of evidence suggests that taking a constructive break from a me