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I remember the days when you had to ask permission to go to the toilet in work. Yes, it did happen. In fact, I know that, even now there are some places of employment that monitor how long staff members are away from their desk. 
 
But is that the appropriate approach go? 
 
I think we all realise by now that this rigid way of working is not beneficial to anyone, but would you go so far as to say you should encourage your team to take breaks? 
 
I would. And there are very good reasons for that. 
 
 

5 Reasons why you should encourage your team to take breaks 

1 - Taking a step back can help you to evaluate where your day is heading 

We have all been there. We start the day with great intentions but as it goes on and the workload keeps on coming, we lose sight of our priorities and get bogged down with the tasks that are sat immediately in front of us. 
 
By taking just a few minutes away from your desk can help you gain perspective. It can help your staff members to prioritise again instead of just ploughing on. 
 

2 – Sitting down is physically exhausting 

I know that statement does not make sense, but it is true that if you are sat in one position for long periods of time, it will have a detrimental effect on your body. Your neck or back will start to ache, your legs may seize up, your hands could start to stiffen and so on. 
 

3 – Your brain needs a breather 

This is an obvious one. When you are concentrating for long periods of time, it stands to reason that your brain will need a break. If you do not take a step back now and again, you will start to take in and retain less information, you will find it hard to focus and you will inevitably start to slow down. 
 
Just as you need to stop for water when you are running, your brain needs time to rest and re-focus in order to keep up to the level of productivity you need. 
 

4 – Your staff will like you for it 

If you do not have a micro-managed culture, your team will appreciate it and value you as an employer. If they feel you have their health and wellbeing at heart, they are likely to want to worker harder for you. 
 
Allowing regular breaks helps with employee engagement and that can only be a good thing for your business. 
 

5 – A lack of breaks is mentally draining 

By not allowing regular breaks, your staff are under pressure. Stress levels increase, productivity and motivation decrease. 
 
Mental health is at the top of the priority list right now and allowing your staff members to step away and take a break is one small step that can make a huge difference. 
 
I am not saying that you should have more breaks than working hours, but it is beneficial to encourage your team to step away now and again. You can also encourage them to be productive with that time. 
 
For example, 
 
➡️ They could take a walk around the office. Encourage pedometers and even make a little office competition out of it. 
➡️ Have a quiet area where they can just sit for a moment. Install a water bottle so they have access to fluid as we know this helps with brain function. 
➡️ Create a little meeting area where colleagues can meet for a quick chat. Socialising at work is extremely important for staff morale. 
➡️ Encourage your team to get up and take a break when they need it. Do not create a culture whereby they feel they have to justify their every move 
 
 

These simple steps can not only help to increase productivity but will also help with motivation and mental health. 

Please do not hesitate to contact daxa@hrresultsltd.co.uk if you would like to discuss the plan you would like to put in place. Taking HR from 'TO DO' to 'DONE'. 
 
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