14 Dec The Power of Micro-Breaks at Work
Micro-breaks are a powerful way to help maximize employee potential. Not only can they protect against burnout, but micro-breaks can boost satisfaction and a sense of well-being too. This goes a long way to enhancing performance and productivity in the office.
So, just how do micro-breaks help? Here’s all you need to know.
What Are Micro-Breaks?
A micro-break is a very short break, less than 10 minutes. Plus, it is not scheduled, as a lunch break would be. Instead, a micro-break is flexible and taken whenever it’s needed, often multiple times throughout the day.
Stop Burnout and Boost Satisfaction
An exhausted employee doesn’t produce good work. Not only that, continued exhaustion can lead to long-term burnout. So, how can you avoid burnout? Micro-breaks! A published review of micro-break research says 60% of workers felt more energetic after taking them. They also felt a greater sense of well-being. That makes micro-breaks a great way to ensure top talent is happier and more productive. That’s a win-win.
More Micro-Break Benefits for Employees
Need more convincing? Here are more ways micro-breaks help your staff.
- Reducing work-related stress. Deep breathing, stretching, or taking a brisk walk are all shown to decrease stress levels. These are also perfect micro-break activities.
- Time to digest information. The brain can only retain and assess information for so long. Then it needs time to catalog and form connections. This means micro-breaks can help staff learn and better use what they learned in their job.
- Improved concentration. A short break away from an attention-intense task lets the mind reset, regaining mental energy. Thus, when the employee returns to work, they are ready to focus again.
- Lessening fatigue. Mental energy is drained during work causing staff to feel tired. Micro-breaks replenish that energy, lessening tiredness and boosting energy.
Encourage Micro-Breaks to Optimize Performance
Help your staff use micro-breaks wisely. Create a place where they can grab a coffee or briefly chat with a co-worker. Help them disengage from their tasks briefly to return more focused and energized. Just a few minutes spent stretching in their cubicle or participating in a mindfulness session can offer staff great results.
Don’t forget the outdoors! Construct a garden or walkway around the building for employees to use during their short breaks. Studies show that fresh air, sunshine, and being in nature have a powerful, rejuvenating effect on the mind. No greenspace outside? Add plants to break areas and around the office to bring nature in.
Creating a Micro-Break Schedule
While micro-breaks are meant to be flexible, there are some recommendations for the best results. For instance, try taking a micro-break after 90 minutes of work. This is often a natural stopping point in concentration, making it an ideal time to step away for a moment. Then, come back and work for another 90 minutes.
If an hour and a half feels too long, more frequent breaks could be better. Try taking a minute or two reprieve every 15 minutes or between tasks. The brief change in position and focal point can help avoid skeletal fatigue and eye strain.
Micro-Breaks Let You Recharge and Refresh Fast
Short, frequent breaks can have a cumulative effect. With micro-breaks, staff will enjoy a greater sense of well-being. This can drive up retention, performance, and bottom-line productivity without any additional cost. Give micro-breaks a try!
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