The power of breaks at work: boost your productivity and well-being

Reading time: 7 minutes
28/06/2024

81% of those questioned believe that taking a break at work is mentally essential.

Employees are entitled to a minimum 20-minute break after 6 consecutive hours' work. However, it is in a company's interest to encourage its employees to take breaks throughout the day.

These moments of rest, far from being a waste of time, are essential for improving employee productivity and well-being. 76% of employees say they would be less effective if they didn't take a break. Breaks are also an opportunity to talk with colleagues about subjects other than work, and thus to disconnect.

In this article, you'll discover how taking breaks can boost your productivity and improve your well-being at work.

The best work breaks for your well-being

The traditional coffee break is still a great way to relax and recharge, but here are some other ideas.

These breaks are ideal for your personal development, as they help you recharge your batteries and maintain a good level of well-being throughout the day.

Strengthen team cohesion with a break at work

67% of employees who take coffee breaks think that they are essential if they are to fit in with their team ( IFOP survey for Carte Noire ).

Breaks are the ideal time to talk with colleagues and create or strengthen bonds. Team cohesion is beneficial to work efficiency and cooperation. Ideas flow more freely and projects progress more quickly. What's more, working in a close-knit team helps reduce social stress and improves job satisfaction, as employees feel more supported and valued.

Learning to foster team cohesion

Take a step back from your work

Taking breaks helps you to take a step back from your work, get a fresh look and a new, different perspective.

Taking a break also helps to reduce errors due to lack of concentration and to be more focused and attentive to your tasks, which also improves the quality of your work. A rested mind is better able to produce precise, high-quality results.

Breaks help reduce mental fatigue and prevent overwork. Mental breaks help recharge batteries and keep you alert throughout the day.

Decompress and motivate with breaks at work

Taking a break is also an opportunity to relax and recharge.

A relaxed employee returns to work more motivated and better focused, which translates into greater efficiency.

Breaks also help to reduce stress and improve mood, creating a healthier, more positive work environment.

Solving problems

Taking a break is also a good way to step back from the situation and think about problems from a different angle.

Productivity is boosted because innovative and effective solutions emerge more easily when we take the time to temporarily disconnect from our tasks.

It also helps to solve problems creatively and provides a sense of accomplishment and mastery, which also boosts self-confidence.

Drink a hot beverage during your break at work

Drinking tea or coffee has many benefits, including mental stimulation and comfort.

Caffeine increases alertness and energy, helping to maintain a high level of performance.

The comfort provided by a hot drink improves mood and well-being, and makes for a pleasant moment of relaxation.

Prevent burnout with work breaks

Regular breaks are not to be taken lightly, as they are a key strategy for preventing burnout.

They help maintain high performance over the long term and avoid stress and burnout peaks.

Taking breaks at work reduces stress and emotional exhaustion, which helps maintain good health and motivation. All this helps prevent burn-out.

Find out more about burn-out

Improving physical health

Active breaks can be easily integrated into the working day and can take many different forms. Here are some examples of microbreaks that stimulate your muscles and your body.

You can also incorporate a sports session at lunchtime, which will revitalize you and boost your productivity for the rest of the day.

If you spend your day sitting at your desk, taking active breaks will help you reduce the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle, such as RSI.

Find out more about RSI

A fitter employee is more productive and less prone to health problems. Sick leave is reduced, and better work continuity is ensured. Physical health reduces body aches and improves daily comfort, which in turn affects overall well-being.

Encouraging creativity by taking a break from work

Breaks allow time for reflection, creative thinking and well-being.

Generating innovative ideas and finding creative solutions becomes easier after a break, and this can lead to significant advances in projects.

What's more, this leads to increased personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement and pride. The work environment becomes more dynamic and inspiring.

Increase job satisfaction

Having control over how you spend your time enables a good work-life balance and increases your satisfaction.

A satisfied employee is more committed and efficient, which translates into better overall productivity.

Reducing stress and balancing work and personal life contributes to general well-being and a better quality of life.

FAQ : The power of breaks at work

Why are breaks at work important for productivity and well-being?

Breaks are essential because they enable employees to rest, recharge their batteries and maintain a high level of concentration and productivity. They reduce mental fatigue and prevent overwork, thus improving the quality of work and general well-being.

What is the legal minimum duration of a break after several consecutive hours of work?

According to regulations, employees must have a break of at least 20 minutes after 6 consecutive hours' work. However, more frequent and shorter breaks throughout the day are recommended to optimize productivity and well-being.

What kind of breaks can improve team cohesion?

Coffee breaks are particularly effective in strengthening team cohesion. They provide opportunities to talk with colleagues about non-work-related topics, build bonds and improve cooperation and efficiency within the team.

How can breaks help prevent burnout?

Regular breaks are a key strategy for preventing burnout. They help reduce stress and emotional exhaustion, maintain high performance over the long term and avoid stress and burnout peaks, thus contributing to good mental health and constant motivation.

What are the benefits of active breaks for employees' physical health?

Active breaks, such as physical exercise or a brisk walk, stimulate muscles, reduce the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle and improve physical fitness. This translates into higher productivity, fewer health problems, less sick leave and improved overall well-being for employees.

Fostering a corporate culture that values employee breaks and well-being is essential for a healthy, productive work environment.

Download our infographic on the benefits of breaks at work

Don't wait any longer to incorporate regular breaks into your work routine!

And why not start now with an active break to earn XP on SPART? 🤩

By Candice Lhomme

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