It's 'National Lazy Day' – Here's why you should regularly 'take a break' during work hours
Kick back and relax, because today (August 10th) is ‘National Lazy Day’! While we don’t advocate for spending the entirety of your working day lying in bed eating last night’s takeaway (save those antics for the weekend), us Formpipers do believe in the importance of taking regular breaks while on the job.
Research has found that 46% of Brits feel guilty for taking a break while at work, with the average UK worker taking just two breaks per day for a total of only 24 minutes. This guilt often stems from the long-running glamorisation of overworking and the unfounded belief that taking more breaks equates to being less efficient at work.
In reality, not taking a break can lead to making more mistakes, an inability to concentrate, underproductivity and the dreaded ‘burnout’. More than 10 million workers in the UK have called in sick as a result of feeling burnt out, with symptoms including exhaustion, headaches, sleeplessness and feelings of self-doubt.
Most experts recommend taking a break between every 25 minutes and 90 minutes, for 10 to 20 minutes respectively. In doing so, you could reap a whole host of benefits.
Better productivity Who’d have thought it, taking breaks at work actually makes you more productive. By switching off for a few minutes, you get time to reset, in turn boosting concentration and allowing you to digest and retain information.
Plus, by scheduling regular rest times throughout the day, you give yourself mini-deadlines to work to which provides you with the motivation to finish a task more quickly.
More creativity Ever struggled to think of a killer idea for that media campaign while sitting at your desk, only for it to come to you in the shower? Detaching yourself from your workload actually increases your ability to be creative.
Research by Harvard Business Review found that those who are hesitant to take a break because they think they’re ‘on a roll’, might actually have a false impression. This is because we tend to generate ‘redundant ideas’ when we don’t take regular breaks.
Boost in Employee Engagement By taking time to pause, you’re reducing stress and improving job satisfaction. Similarly, working for a company which values your wellbeing and encourages time out will strengthen employee loyalty, prevent burnout and lead to higher retention rates. In fact 95% of HR leaders admit that employee burnout is sabotaging workplace retention, so it’s paramount to help employees stay mentally in check.
Improves health/physical wellbeing If you work in an office-based role where you’re required to sit in front of a screen for hours at a time, this can cause a number of health problems including back pain, headaches, deep-vein thrombosis and even diabetes. By going for a quick walk/run, doing some yoga or even just strolling around your office/home, you can reduce the risk of associated health issues and obesity.
Prevents conflict Perhaps you’ve received negative feedback about a piece of work you spent weeks on. Maybe a coworker has sent you an overly patronising email. You’re feeling ticked off.
Removing yourself from the situation by taking a break or going for a walk can give you the space to cool down and come up with a level-headed response. While it can be tempting to give them a piece of your mind, a heated reaction will do nobody any favours.
How to take a break Need some ideas on how to spend your well earned time out? Here’s some suggestions which each require ZERO screen time!
Go for a walk to improve activity levels and increase blood flow to the brain
Reading a book/listening to a podcast can help you detach from your workload
Socialising/chatting to colleagues can increase your happiness and productivity
Meditation – for clearing your mind and relaxation
Clean your desk/ home office to distract yourself from work while still feeling a sense of accomplishment
Do some yoga to help with stress and improve posture/overall fitness
Looking to join an organisation which genuinely values work-life balance and encourages you to take as many breaks as you need? Well, we’re always hiring! Check out our vacancies.