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why breaktime is important

Why Breaktime is so Important

Reclaim your breaktime!

We’ve all been there. A looming deadline, franticly studying for an exam or becoming fully engrossed in a long task means it can be tricky to justify a break. The fear of losing precious minutes takes over and you feel chained to the desk. Despite the deadline, it’s actually beneficial for productivity levels to take a short break. Studies show our brains can only handle processing so much information at one time before requiring a rest. Continuous repetitive tasks can also lead to boredom. Breaks are essential for retaining essential information and staying focussed so you can ultimately do a better job.

Why take a break?

To retain information

Breaking may help you get more done – if you’ve ever found yourself getting nowhere, you may be overloading your brain. You may find a task easier to complete after a short time away.

Make better decisions

Step back from your task to process information and make better decisions or solve a problem.

Be healthier

Not taking breaks for food, sleep or exercise is detrimental to both body and brain.

Rest your eyes

Give your eyes a break from reading or looking at a screen. Disconnect from technology for a short time to prevent eye strain that could cause you to become unproductive.

Lower stress levels

Taking a break allows you to step back and ‘switch off’ from work for a few moments.

To avoid fatigue

Being tired clouds your judgement and you may prone to making more mistakes.

Boost your energy levels

Come back to a task after a break may make you feel more energised.

How and when should you break?

How long you are able to work without a break varies from person to person. Here are some methods to try:

75 - 90 minutes

Concentrate for this amount of time then be rewarded with a 15 minute break. College classes are designed to be around this length.

The Pomodoro Technique

Developed in the 1980’s by Francesco Cirillo, the technique helps users develop a good relationship with time. This idea is that you set a timer and focus your brain away from interruptions to work on a task for 25 mins, then break for 4 minutes. Repeat 4 times then take a longer break.

20 – 8 - 2.

When using a sit-stand desk, sit for 20 minutes, stand for 8 minutes then move for 2 minutes. You can set an alert to remind you when to stand. This method is effective in making you move more at a desk and become more productive over time.

The 52 / 17 rule

Similar to the Pomodoro Technique, this method allows you to fully immerse yourself in work for 52 minutes then allow yourself a 17 minute break completely away from screens, phones or any other work-related tasks. Working with purpose for the 52 minutes helps you accomplish tasks knowing that you will be rewarded with a break completely detached from work.

Check your breaktime entitlements

It’s worth checking your breaktime allowance at work. In Ireland, employees are entitled to a 15 minute break when you have worked more than 4.5 hours. Talk to your HR department about company policy on how long you are able to take at a time.

What do you need for an effective breaktime

Comfortable furniture

Enjoy a comfortable break sitting on casual soft seating in a designated breakout area. This type of furniture is a welcome contrast to office furniture and will allow workers to detach from work during their break. Why not install high backed booths and hubs for an effective way to switch off from any background noise?

Lunchroom Furniture

Canteen tables and chairs are an essential to allow employees to take their lunchbreak practically and comfortably.

Outdoor seating

Enjoy and al-fresco break and head outside for some fresh air and sunlight. If you have an outdoor space, why not add some comfortable and practical outdoor furniture? Time away from the physical space of the workplace will do you the world of good, helping everyone refresh and feel energised for the afternoon ahead.

Exercise equipment or clothing.

Go for a walk, run, gym or cycle.

How to have an effective break

  • Enjoy a short walk or even just a breath of fresh air.
  • Sit somewhere other than your desk or workstation such as breakout area, canteen or outside area.
  • Stretch your legs, arms, back or neck at your desk.
  • Make a hot drink or take your lunch break.
  • Be sociable – chat or laugh with a colleague about non-related work topics
  • Meditate
  • Be creative – try a new activity, sketch, listen to music or daydream
  • Read a book – focus on something completely detached from your task
  • Use an app or timer to help you recognise when to take a break

We stock a wide range of furniture and catering products for you to enjoy your breaktime. Search for what you need on our website or contact a member of our team for some advice.

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