It’s not uncommon to burn out during a long or even a short work week. Without taking adequate breaks, productivity, mental well-being, and overall work performance will begin to suffer. Breaks are essential in helping employees de-stress and re-charge for the rest of the workday. Try incorporating some of these breaks into your workweek.
Active breaks are essential in improving muscle tone & posture, boosting concentration levels, decreasing stress & increasing self-esteem, and much more. Research shows that sitting for long periods can cause several health concerns, like obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. This is why it is important to take a physical break throughout the day. Physical breaks do not have to be a full-blown workout session but can be as simple as standing for 2 mins at a time, to get your blood flowing. Even walking the perimeter around the office for a few minutes can help jump start your body and keep you feeling refreshed.
Team Spirit Building
Having a happy employee is key to running a successful firm. Some companies have implemented these activities into their work schedules to ensure that their employees are not only mentally focused but have strong company morale. This goes for law firms as well. It is important to implement a wellness program that will uplift your employees not only physically but spiritually. Taking the time out to bond with your coworkers will build team spirit. Having a monthly lunch break or outing where your team can just be themselves helps positively foster employee morale. This is why you see break rooms with televisions, couches, and other things that represent relaxation and a carefree environment. This promotes a good work-life balance.
Meeting deadlines can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when other tasks continuously pop up, derailing your productivity. This is why it’s vital to hit RESET and take a mental break. Mental breaks can be short and sweet or long and intensive depending on how frustrated you are. However, ideal mental breaks at work should be short and sweet, if the latter is needed then you should probably take a mental health day. Short mental breaks can be 5 mins of doodling at your desk, a quick game of Candy Crush or Solitaire, pretty much anything that takes your mind off of the task at hand. Even dedicating part or all of your lunch break to a power nap will tremendously boost your productivity.
Social & Social Media
Social interactions are proven to be a great stress reliever, especially in a shared office. When you’re feeling stumped on a problem and need to just talk it out, there’s always someone close by to talk to. Even taking a quick walk to the coffee machine means that there’s a chance to congregate with an officemate in the halls and it doesn’t have to be work-related. Even Social Media breaks in the workplace can be beneficial in increasing employee productivity. Let’s face it, regular “coffee breaks” just don’t satisfy the millennial generation like more seasoned coworkers. This is why some companies have included social media policies because these types of breaks have been proven to satisfy that need to decompress, refocus, and quickly resume working.
The mid-day slump is the WORST, but has anyone ever suffered from a mid-morning or the late-afternoon slump? Breaks that encourage nourishment help to boost brain power because sometimes just a simple lunch break isn’t enough to keep the body and brain moving. According to Forbes.com, 38% of employees don’t feel encouraged to take a lunch break. This is why simple snack breaks are encouraged. Some offices have even started stocking the break room with healthy options for their employees to munch on in between meals or whenever they are feeling a bit peckish.
Short breaks can be just as effective as a long break. A micro-break is a break that’s less than 10 minutes and is super effective. Even 60 seconds away from a task can do the trick because these tiny breaks can ease your body and reboot your mind. It is suggested that short, frequent breaks are better than less frequent longer breaks, so a 5-10 minute break after 50-60 minutes is better than a 20-minute break every 3 hours, especially if you sit in front of a computer. Micro breaks are super easy to start here are some good tips on kick-starting a microbreak.
I know what you’re thinking, taking breaks should be fun so why should you incorporate a “career-building” break into your work routine? The answer is easy, GROWTH. Taking a moment to just think about your future internally and externally within your company is so important to your self-esteem and self-worth. Take a moment and look over your resume/LinkedIn profile and add new skills that you’ve recently learned or follow some influential people on LinkedIn, these are ways to keep your career building. Use social media to your advantage and gain the understanding that you are “never not networking.” Even doing some research or classes to boost your skill sets can be enjoyable and will show initiative to your employer.
Trust us when we say that taking breaks during your workweek will boost your productivity and lower your stress. So don’t be afraid to step away from your task every so often because you’ll get more done if you incorporate at least 3 of these into your day to day life.