How to encourage staff to take better breaks

When it comes to well-being in the workplace, taking proper rest breaks is crucial. It’s an important part of working smarter with the idea being that a well-rested employee will return to work better refreshed and better able to focus than those who regularly work through lunch, for example. The right type of breaks keeps a team energised and enthusiastic, even when work gets tough. Here are some ways that managers can help:

  1. Make breaks a proper part of scheduling

The working shift can be over very quickly, especially during busy periods. With constant phone calls, emails and meetings, it’s too easy to overlook the importance of breaktime. That’s why it’s important to block out specific times for breaks. By scheduling these onto team calendars, people will be less inclined to book over that time for meetings.

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  1. Space for the mind

Countless studies have shown the benefits of meditation during a break. Meditation or just some quiet time has a considerably positive impact on our ability to deal with stress, anxiety and our relationships with others. Consider setting aside just 15 minutes per day for your team to enjoy some meditation or have some headphones so they can chill or listen to some music. It might be useful to appoint champions within your team to communicate these things effectively.

  1. Don’t have an empty fridge

Food is a social thing and can provide a perfect opportunity for coworkers to congregate, socialise and get to know one another better. Instead of team members simply leaving the office every day, get people together around some nutritious food. It doesn’t have to be costly either, encourage people to make some dips or bring in some fruit and nuts to help prevent those afternoon sugar crashes.

  1. Get some fresh air

A breath of fresh air can really help to energise those who have been in an office all morning. It’s good for the body and mind, to get away from the desk. It can even boost creativity. Perhaps encourage some al fresco dining by providing an attractive picnic area outside the building. Make it a sheltered space, from rain and UV rays with Tensile Fabric Structures from

The get outside concept can also be applied to non-break times too, by encouraging a break from meeting rooms and taking a walking meeting outside instead or hosting a meeting in a pleasant outdoor space.

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  1. Practice what you preach

It’s no good telling your staff about the importance of taking a proper break when you’re in the throes of eating a sandwich over your laptop. Managers and leaders must lead by example to empower their staff to start prioritising better breaks as well. It can come in any shape or size, be it 10 minutes to meditate, a 5-minute walk around the block or an outdoor meeting.