Break Out The Good China! The Importance Of Breaks At Work

Jan 23, 2018

We all know what it’s like to work a long, hard day, and then look back on it and realise we didn’t take a break. If these days occur regularly, you could be having a significant negative impact on your productivity despite the extra hours you’ve been putting in.

UK laws state that we must all have “adequate” breaks during the working day. This is an ambiguous statement, as the number and type of breaks an employee should receive will vary depending on the type of work they’re doing. Some more conscientious employers will give their workforce more breaks than they’re legally entitled to, as studies show it can have a great impact on productivity, loyalty, motivation and employee wellbeing. It can also be beneficial to take many short breaks throughout the day, rather than one long one.

Office Interior designed and installed by Allen Commercial Interiors

So we know breaks are important, but how do we maximise breaktimes? We mentioned in a recent article that people who don’t leave their desk during a designated hour’s break only take a 34-minute break on average. More and more workplaces are now including designated “breakout” areas to ensure people can get away from their desk and relax properly; be it by themselves or with colleagues. Depending on the workplace culture, you could have anything from a quiet relaxation room with calming artwork and ambience, to a vibrant and entertaining space with table football and the latest video games console. You could also consider having an outside space for people to take their breaks in, weather-permitting of course! Whatever you decide on, there are a few key features we think are important.

Firstly, ensure there is a microwave for people to heat their lunch up. Provide cutlery and condiments too, if your budget allows it. Secondly, think hard about the furniture and how it should be arranged. For example, having round tables with canteen-style chairs will encourage people to sit together and maybe even have meetings there. Having comfy chairs or beanbags will encourage people to really switch off and relax, perhaps in more solitude and with less likelihood of treating it as a secondary working environment. Lastly, make sure there are ample facilities for making hot & cold drinks. Providing sugar, milk, glasses and mugs may mean your employees avoid leaving work altogether multiple times each day just to nip to the local coffee shop to grab a coffee to go.

Breaks are essential for employee wellbeing & productivity.

If you’re a business owner, you could consider talking to your employees and getting their ideas on what would work best for them. If you’re an employee, arrange a meeting with your manager to let them know what would help you get the most from your downtime.

Remember, we are commercial interior design experts and are more than happy to help you develop your ideas. Some companies sometimes see a breakout area as a luxury that they simply cannot afford; however here at Allen Commercial Interiors we can design a relaxing, effective, and cost-effective breakout room. Contact us today to find out more!

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