Can taking breaks at work actually make you MORE productive?

Think the harder you work, the more you get done? Find out why taking breaks can actually make you more productive.

When people think of a typical workday, they probably think of sitting at a desk, going to meetings, and getting as much work done as possible. 

But more and more companies are beginning to understand the benefits of allowing a little relaxation in the workplace. In fact, productivity can be significantly increased when people step away from their desk and take a break. 

So let’s take a look at a few ways taking a break, including napping and playing some games, can actually help boost productivity at work.

Breaks improve your mental and physical health

While many states mandate regular breaks, very few employees actually take breaks from work. In fact, a 2018 survey found that almost 20% of employees in North America worry that if they take regular lunch breaks, their bosses won’t see them as hardworking. 

But the reality is that taking breaks from work often gives employees increased focus and energy – which is more beneficial for their work quality in the long run. 

Whether it’s stepping away from the desk for a few minutes, taking a short walk at lunchtime, or even just standing up to stretch, employees who take breaks can see an increase in their mental and physical health, more motivation, a boost in creativity, and can even have an easier time making important decisions.

Naps improve learning and happiness

Sleeping on the job sounds like a definite way to get fired, right? Well, a quick nap might actually be beneficial for employees.

Studies have found that napping is a great way to feel re-energised and it can help improve learning. Not to mention that napping can reduce the risk of getting sick and can help employees feel happier overall. 

Obviously, a three-hour nap is probably not a good idea – work will not get done and employees are likely to wake up groggy. But a quick, 20-minute power nap can do wonders to improve motivation and productivity, especially in the afternoon following lunch.

Games help employees focus and bond

Who says work can’t be fun? Playing games at work has been found to have some major benefits. Whether it’s a video game console, a Ping-Pong table, or even some board games to play at lunch, incorporating fun into the workday is a must. 

Not only does taking a break to have some fun revitalise employees, but it can significantly improve the culture within the office, too.

When people are more likely to get up and move about the office, they’re more likely to communicate and bond with co-workers, even people they might not usually interact with during a typical workday. Having some fun and stepping out of a normal work routine can boost energy and help people focus better when they do return to their work.

Breaks are becoming a normal part of the workday

With more and more research being done on the importance of taking breaks during work, more employers are actually encouraging these behaviours. Whether it’s buying a Ping-Pong table for the break room or building an entire room just for napping, companies are making the switch to a more relaxed and fun work environment. 

Long gone are the days when employees would have to sneakily nap at their desk when the boss was in a meeting or play games on their computers while pretending to work – frequent breaks are becoming a normal part of the workday. 

So whether you’re an employer or an employee, think about the impact a strict workday has on productivity and consider implementing frequent breaks, naps, and more games into your everyday schedule.

Photo by Sarah Swinton