Why taking a break makes you a better employee

Having a good work ethic is certainly a positive thing. It’s something employers look for when recruiting new staff, and many people argue there’s a positive relationship between psychological well-being and work ethic. But, as with most things, there is a balance to be struck.

In an effort to get more done, many of us work through our lunch hours and avoid taking mini breaks away from our desks. But did you know that this could be making you less productive?

Studies show that frequently taking short breaks could make you a better employee and be good for your health. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • Improved Concentration. Throughout the day, all the tasks we have to do (no matter how small) gradually deplete our psychological resources. We may not always be conscious of it, but our ability to work efficiently is impaired significantly when our brain’s resources need a top-up. Taking short breaks throughout the day is a proven way to sustain concentration.
  • Better Decision Making. Research suggests that those who do not take regular breaks call fall foul to decision fatigue phenomenon; their ability to make balanced decisions is impaired, and they’re more likely to get angry at colleagues. The effects of decision fatigue can spill over into people’s personal lives too, as they are more likely to eat junk food, splurge on clothes and have difficult relationships with members of their families.
  • Eye Health. Using a computer or laptop for too long can cause eyestrain, headaches and even blurred vision. This is known as computer vision syndrome. Taking regular breaks from your display screen equipment is a good solution to this, as it can reduce discomfort and eyestrain without affecting how productive you are at work.
  • Reduced Tension. If you work at a computer or desk, statistically you are very likely to experience tension and pain across your back, neck, arms and shoulders. Combat this by using your breaks get moving and stretch your muscles.

So for the sake of your health, grab life by the mug and remember to take frequent short breaks. Those occasional short walks to and from the kettle can do wonders for your health and sanity, as well as the quality of your work.