Workplace breaks have taken a backseat in recent years. In fact, as the need for productivity continues to rise, an astounding 38% of employees report feeling discouraged to take lunch breaks. Honestly, most American citizens eat at their desks between tasks, and, as a manager, you probably haven’t done much to tackle the habit. It works for you, after all, and your employees seem happy enough to do it. Or do they?
While many employees do choose to eat on the go, 90% of those asked still reported that breaks helped them to feel refreshed and ready to work. Morale alone, therefore, dictates that you could benefit from implementing break rooms our outdoor areas complete with picnic tables and pergola installation to encourage time out. But, you may well wonder what this would mean for your business budget.
Time out effectively means downtime, after all, and most of us imagine that could have a significant impact on profit margins. But, what if we were to tell you that your profits could soar rather than suffer if you made breaks a priority?
To prove that, we’re going to look at the surprising money-boosting benefits of paying a little more attention here moving forward.
It’s impossible to talk about the monetary benefits of breaks without touching on potential productivity increases. While you may assume that set time out could damage daily workflow, that isn’t the case. Instead, employees who enjoy breaks perform much better than their deprived counterparts. That’s because breaks replenish mental resources, reduce decision fatigue, and generally increase the chances of ‘aha’ moments. But, to benefit, employees must take at least some time totally away from their desks and, more importantly, their computer screens.
Reduced Sick Days
Employees who take regular breaks also report improved physical health, and thus less sick days. It’s no secret, after all, that office work isn’t good for us. Back pain, in particular, is the leading cause for time taken off work. And guess what? Regularly moving from that desk-bound position can help to increase lifespan and reduce health niggles, leading to a healthier team that are in the office on a far more regular basis.
Increased Learning Capabilities
Evidence also suggests that breaks improve memory and learning capabilities. Given that the ability to learn new skills is key to job success, this could see you with a turbo-charged team that makes you a great deal more profit. Science writer Ferris Jabr reports that this is because ‘Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.’ So, be sure to send employees outside before their next training session!
Breaks can seem like an easy and even beneficial thing to skip, but, as you can see, that isn’t the case. Far from just making your team happier, making a point of breaks can see your profits soaring. That way, everyone wins!