Happy, healthy employees are productive employees. While it may seem counter-intuitive on paper, in practice, regular work breaks can actually boost profitability in the long run. When people are stressed out or tired, the quality and quantity of their work suffers. Even a quick micro-break can rejuvenate a weary worker, which naturally improves workflow and boosts morale.
Reduce Stress for Better Health
Studies have shown that excessive stress can manifest physically. That means that overworked employees are more likely to feel under the weather or even get sick. Even one day’s absence can put important projects behind schedule, and that’s why maintaining a healthy workplace is critical. While it may not seem like a major factor, allowing employees to take regular breaks creates a more relaxed, positive work environment. When you look at the bigger picture, the long-term mental and physical health benefits are undeniable. In fact, you may even want to consider implementing required breaks for employees who regularly push themselves to the point of exhaustion.
Revitalize the Mind for Optimal Results
It’s possible to work too hard, especially if you’re self-employed. When you make your own schedule, it’s easy to become consumed by your work. Even in a traditional workplace setting, many employees become so engrossed in their duties that they forget to rest their brains. The problem is that constant stimulation can make your mind start to go numb. Just taking a few minutes to step back from a project can revitalize your mind and allow you to come back with renewed clarity and sharpness. When you return, you might even have new insights and ideas that your brain just needed to process. Physically standing up also gets blood flowing and oxygen to your brain, allowing you to operate at your full capacity.
Foster a Positive Work Environment
Whether you’re a freelancer or a CEO, your work environment directly affects your company’s overall productivity. From your decor and furniture to the people you hire, every factor plays a role in the overall culture of your business. Allowing occasional breaks is an easy way to show your employees that they’re appreciated. It makes them feel like they belong to an organization that genuinely cares about more than just the bottom line. When people are happy with their work environments, they naturally work harder because they want to, not because they have to.
Many employees force themselves to work through exhaustion simply because they’re too nervous about requesting breaks. On a similar note, self-employed workers often guilt themselves into working past their comfort levels. In both situations, honesty with the scheduling manager or with one’s own self can go a long way in improving the overall results of a project. When you allow regular breaks, you take some of the burden off of the workers who may not be willing to speak up when they need to rest, even if just for a few minutes.
Any workplace is going to function far more smoothly when people are comfortable communicating their needs. Start the conversation, and people will respond. Simply giving your workers a voice is an effective way to boost morale.