Some company managers are irritated by employees who like to take a break from time to time. Indeed, how can we respect the deadlines imposed by customers and partners if we are late? How can you increase sales if teams spend their time twiddling their thumbs and joking around with each other? It is undoubtedly paradoxical, but the break in the company plays a crucial role in the development of your activities.
In most cases, one working day is equivalent to 7 hours. It is therefore understandable that employers expect teams to carry out their tasks continuously during these 7 hours. However, all work requires concentration. According to neurologist Edwin Robinson, it takes 20 minutes for the human brain to assimilate, process and record information. If there is too much information at the same time, the brain's performance is reduced. This leads to a decrease in concentration and, as you will certainly have understood, the quality of work suffers.
We can also compare the ability to concentrate to the functioning of muscles. If your muscles are used intensively, they will gradually release. It will then be necessary to take a break to avoid any injury.
In other words, the company break allows the brain to let go of its concentration. This decompression, even if brief, allows you to resume activities more efficiently.
This is a concern for many HR professionals who find it difficult to accept that their employees lose valuable minutes in a break. In reality, it's all about how you offer this break to your teams. For example, you can set the time of the break yourself. Not everyone has to stop at the same time. It is possible that the teams will take turns during a break. But then, what to do during these "lost" hours ?
There are already classic options such as coffee break, cigarette break, fast food, etc. You could also create a space where your employees can do some sports, lie down, listen to music, etc. The key is to satisfy them by improving their working conditions. Your employees - and you - will be able to take advantage of these respite moments to discuss work, their personal lives and the latest news. In short, it is really about giving them a few minutes of freedom over their working time.
Far from being a waste of time, the break in the company allows you to strengthen the links between the members of your teams and thus improve their cohesion. This is beneficial for the development of your activities. In addition, the break is excellent for health: improving blood circulation, reducing eye fatigue, fighting back pain.
There is no standard answer. However, the different studies lead at a relatively similar pace. Some techniques recommend 15 minutes of respite after 45 minutes of work. Other companies have concluded that a 17-minute break after 52 consecutive minutes of work would be ideal. Of course, it is important to regulate these breaks, which are introduced to optimize productivity. You must therefore motivate your employees to give it their all during the 45 or 52 minutes to be able to decompress completely during their 15-minute break. In addition, it is important not to "waste" these precious minutes by standing in front of screens (television, internet, etc.). These hobbies, which seem harmless, can lead to mental numbness, which is not very beneficial for employees and the company. Instead, you should get up, get some air, do some stretching, laugh with a good heart, etc. Employees who make the most of their breaks are the most productive!!
If you do the calculation, about 90 minutes should be allowed for each employee's daily company break. This sounds like a lot, but it's the best way to help your teams to recharge their batteries regularly and cut themselves off from stress. You can even ban the use of technological gadgets such as phones and tablets to make sure everyone gets the most out of this little ritual. This is the best way to take a break for body and mind.
It is not only employees who can and should take advantage of these regular breaks. Managers also need to ease off. By giving yourself 100% all day long, you are subject to a continuous stream of stress. This has implications for your own work. The way you manage your teams, your listening skills, your ability to discern, all this is affected by stress. Your abilities may be questioned by your collaborators, which will have repercussions on your credibility. Any leader deserves a few breaks! Take the opportunity to talk with your employees over a drink.
Ask them what they think about their working conditions, the break system, etc. This proximity is beneficial, as long as you do not allow too many familiarities.
Are breaks during working hours really useful? Obviously, yes, and for everyone. Excessive exertion is detrimental to productivity because the brain gets tired. It is therefore essential to establish a ritual by alternating intensive work and idleness. In addition to breaks, it is important to clearly define working hours so that everyone can return home at the agreed time. Obviously, certain circumstances may require an extension of working time. Such overtime should only be occasional, both for employees and managers of a company.
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