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Why should companies encourage employees to take work breaks more often?

To increase the productivity, focus, and concentration of employees, it is highly encouraged that companies ask them to take work breaks every so often. Occasional five-minute or ten-minute breaks can be extremely beneficial to help employees stay focused and energized, as well as help reduce mental stress. 

Taking a break can also reduce fatigue-related accidents as it allows employees to shake off extra stress which may lead to errors, poor quality work, damaging equipment, etc. Breaks are good for employees’ mental and physical health, and ultimately the company’s overall business, and here are just a few benefits of encouraging it more in your work place: 

What are the benefits of work breaks?


The benefits of work breaks are many. Because humans are not built to function non-stop for eight hours a day or longer without a break, breaks are necessary for humans so they can perform their job properly.

Research has shown that short periods of breaks can increase a person’s ability to focus on a task for longer periods of time. These are very important for people who are involved in work and tasks that require creativity and problem-solving because a brief break for five to 10 minutes, or even simply talking casually with a coworker, can give a mental boost that can help improve the overall productivity and creativity of the employee. Speaking with another person about a problem during a break can also be extremely helpful as it may open one’s mind to suggestions or new perspectives they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to reach on their own. 

Additionally, for workers who are involved in operating heavy machines and long-haul drivers, these minor breaks can be very helpful from a safety point of view, and prevent accidents. Meanwhile, for employees who interact with customers all day long, a few minutes away from the job can help them recharge, and maintain their energy for the rest of the day.

How to encourage employees to take work breaks?

The best way to encourage employees to take breaks is to let them know how important their work is to the company and schedule them into your employees’ schedule. You also make the requirements of the break clear with all the new and existing employees of the company and let them know that they are important for proper functioning and are already scheduled into their workday’s schedule.

You can also have a designated place for work such as a common room where all the employees can come during break times and have a nice chit-chat with each other. Having a designated place or room that separates an employee with their work during breaks makes it easier for the employees to take their minds off from work-related stress, and can help them relax.

In the United States, there are no federal laws that require employers to give work breaks to their employees. However, Federal Law does require that when rest breaks are offered, then they should be included in paid time.

What kind of breaks should your employees take?

Since work breaks are meant to keep the employees refreshed and get them to work again on the assigned task with the same energy, you should get your employees to take work breaks that are actually beneficial for them.

Some employees would like to chit-chat with other co-workers to help them feel refreshed, and some would like to play games like Scrabble Word Finder that can help a person to relax and feel calm and will relieve the extra stress. Since word games are good to relax your minds and keep your minds focused, they have many variants such as Words with Friends that can also be a good source of entertainment for a short period of time – perfect for quick breaks. While you cannot have a say in how an employee wants to use his/her break, you can use work meetings and newsletters as a way to educate them about work breaks, and give them suggested activities they can try out. 

These activities and benefits prove that it should be of utmost importance for employers to encourage work breaks among employees, so that everyone in the team feels well taken care of by the company, and well-rested and motivated to do a good job for the overall business. 

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