Want More Productive Employees? Tell Them to Take a Break

May 7, 2014 Chris Correnti


Take a look around your office. Are your employees permanently connected to their computers? Eating lunch at their desks? Is the breakroom desolate? Does the breakroom even exist?  That’s not surprising – Staples Business Advantage survey results revealed half of all respondents feel like they can’t leave their desk to take a break, despite the fact that 90 percent of employers support breaks during the workday.

People are working longer hours (66 percent of employees spend more than eight hours per day at work) and 41 percent are feeling burned out as a result. This isn’t good – not taking regular work breaks can lead to decreased productivity levels and increased stress, negatively affecting employee wellbeing. In fact, the survey revealed that regular breaks at work would improve work, personal happiness and health.

So, how do businesses get employees to stop working and take a break so they can be happier and more productive?  Because guilt is a top reason employees aren’t taking breaks, employers should offer an inviting breakroom – after all, 76 percent of employees said they could unwind and de-stress if they had a well-stocked, comfortable breakroom available. Here are some additional tips to consider:

Office Ergonomics

In addition to breaks, ergonomics can boost productivity. Learn how here.

  • Provide healthy snacks and beverages: Employees want snacks, with respondents overwhelmingly looking for healthy snack options to be added to breakrooms, i.e. nuts, protein and granola bars, compared to chips, cookies or candy.
  • Think about comfort: Furniture is an important consideration for the overall comfort and appeal of the breakroom – employers can provide furniture that allows employees to unwind with their snacks and beverages and socialize with colleagues.
  • Disconnect when taking a break: Employees need to mentally detach from work to restore the energy it takes to work productively.  Encourage powering down work-related technology during breaks to maximize the benefits.

If you’re interested in more facts about the breakroom, such as how employees are using them or which gender utilizes the break room more, check out this slideshow. Additionally, take a look at the infographic below for an even further breakdown of the survey results.

How is your business encouraging a break-friendly culture?


 Staples Advantage breakroom break



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