Advertisements

What Microsoft Japan’s Successful 4-Day Week Suggests About Work-Life Balance

1-27-1

Topline: Microsoft’s Japan office experimented with a four day workweek in August, resulting in a 40% productivity boost, with over 90% of employees reporting they preferred the shorter week⁠—which aligns with previous studies that show greater work-life balance makes for more productive employees.

  • In addition to a burst of productivity, Microsoft Japan reported it used about 23% less electricity and printed around 59% fewer pages during the experiment.
  • Microsoft Japan will conduct a second experiment over the winter and will encourage more flexible working, but it won’t include the shorter work week.
  • But previous studies show that giving employees more flexibility increases productivity; a New Zealand company permanently adopted the four day workweek in 2018, after a trial resulted in a 24% productivity increase.
  • The Harvard Business Review reported that a Chinese travel agency experienced a 13% productivity boost when it allowed call center employees to work from home.
  • In the U.S., a 2017 Stanford University study found the average worker is willing to give up 20% of their pay to avoid their schedule being set with short notice, and 8% of their pay in exchange for the option to work from home.
  • A work-from-anywhere program for patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office showed productivity gains of 4.4%, according to a 2019 working paper by the Harvard Business School.

Big number: 80 hours.That was the length of a required workweek for 25% of Japanese companies in 2016, according to CNBC.

Key background: Japan’s culture of overwork first made headlines in 2015, when a Dentsu employee died by suicide on Christmas Day after working excessive overtime, and again in 2017, when a Japanese reporter died after clocking 159 hours of overtime the month before her death. Since then, prime minister Shinzo Abe has introduced “workstyle reform” to Japan, including an annual cap of 720 overtime hours per person. Although workstyle reform’s intent is to get big companies to improve their productivity internally, the Japanese government acknowledged the burden of overwork might be passed onto small and medium businesses as a result.

Today In: Business

Surprising fact: As a result of their brutal working culture, the Japanese coined the term “karoshi,” meaning “death by overwork.”

Tangent: Despite studies that show benefits to the four day workweek, it’s not universally favored by executives. Some owners have employees work on Friday when there’s a holiday the following Monday. Others have reduced vacation time to make up for the extra weekly day off. And one Portland, Oregon tech firm experimented with a four day workweek before returning to a five day schedule, because the owner realized a shorter week meant its competitors had a leg up.

Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

I’m a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines: Gotham Gazette, Bklyner, Thrillist, Task & Purpose, and xoJane.

Source: What Microsoft Japan’s Successful 4-Day Week Suggests About Work-Life Balance

87K subscribers
After spending August experimenting with a four-day work week in a country notorious for overwork, Microsoft Japan said sales per employee rose 40% compared with the same month last year. The “Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019” saw full-time employees take off five consecutive Fridays in August with pay, as well as shortening meetings to a maximum of 30 minutes and encouraging online chats over face-to-face ones. Among workers responding to a survey about the program, 92% said they were pleased with the four-day week, the software maker’s Japan affiliate said in a report on its website on Oct. 31. Japan has been struggling to bring down some of the world’s longest working hours as it confronts a labor shortage and rapidly aging population. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to make workplaces more flexible and reduce overtime has drawn mixed reviews. The summer trial also cut costs at Microsoft Japan, with 23% less electricity consumed and 59% fewer pages printed compared with August 2018, according to the report. Some Microsoft Japan managers still didn’t understand the changes in working styles and some employees expressed concern that shorter workweeks would bother clients. Microsoft Japan plans to hold another work-life challenge in winter. Employees won’t get special paid days off, but will be encouraged to take time off on their own initiative “in a more flexible and smarter way.” Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm TICTOC ON SOCIAL: Follow TicToc on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tictoc Like TicToc on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tictoc Follow TicToc on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tictoc Subscribe to our newsletter: https://bit.ly/2FJ0oQZ TicToc by Bloomberg is global news for the life you lead. We are a 24/7 news network that covers breaking news, politics, technology, business and entertainment stories from around the globe, supported by a network of Bloomberg’s 2,700 journalists across 120 countries.

Advertisements

Always Protect The Downside – Darius Foroux

1.jpg

What’s a big goal or dream that you have? Do you want to start a business? Become a fulltime author? Travel the world? Become financially independent? Change careers?I bet you’ve thought about it, and at some point thought, “I’m not sure I can achieve that.”If you’re anything like me, you always think about risks that are involved with making a big move in life. And that’s not a surprise. We’re collectively risk averse. We truly hate risk. I’ve never met someone who said, “I love to lose everything. But what can we do about our risk aversion? If you think about it, most of us are put off by fear. You think of doing something, consider the risks, and decide not to do it. Here are some examples……….

Read more: https://dariusforoux.com/protect-the-downside/

 

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

 

Working From Home? No Problem Here’s How To Be Productive – Shelcy V. Joseph

1.jpg

While many people would choose to work from home if they could, some actually prefer going to the office every day. One of the reasons being that they find it easier to focus at their desk, than when they’re in pajamas, working with a laptop on their bed. And it makes sense. When you’re left to yourself (without the scrutiny of your boss and other people at the office), staying disciplined and productive can be a challenge……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelcyvjoseph/2018/09/15/working-from-home-no-problem-heres-how-to-be-productive/#56f69a934a95

 

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

 

Why Taking Time Off From Work Is Good for Your Productivity – Timothy Sykes

1.jpeg

Great news: taking time off is good for your career.

Usually, taking time off is considered the antithesis of a good work ethic. You’re supposed to be productive, and that means busy at all times, right? But as it turns out, busy is always be better. As author Alan Cohen wrote, “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”

Source:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/318978

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

 

Polyphasic Sleep: When Productivity Becomes Madness – Ben Mulholland

1.jpg

It sounds like a miracle pill or silver bullet. Polyphasic sleep. How to rest for two hours a day with no ill effects.Imagine everything you could get done with that free time! No more rushing for work deadlines, wishing you could read that book that’s been haunting your bag for a year, or trying to find time to just relax.

Unfortunately, as with most miracle solutions, polyphasic sleep has major associated health risks and little in the way of proven benefits. Most of its good press is down to urban myths and overestimating the positives.

We don’t sleep just for the hell of it – humans need solid rest to process the information gained in waking hours and properly order memories. Unfortunately, the idea of periodically napping throughout the day to replace regular sleep is consistently brought up in productivity discussions.

Source: https://www.process.st/polyphasic-sleep/

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

Is Our Obsession with Multi Tasking Ruining Our Creativity? — ELLAVATE 7

We’ve got to find our own personal balance between our outside reality… the one that keeps our material world going and our other very true (and what I feel is our most important) reality. Our internal creative reality is that part of us that longs to do the things we are meant to do opposed to those things we have to do to survive in this made up society. We risk losing our creative selves when we focus too much of our time juggling the demands of what is outside of us.

via Is Our Obsession with Multi Tasking Ruining Our Creativity? — ELLAVATE 7

 

 

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you
https://www.paypal.me/ahamidian

 

The Difference Between Being Busy and Being Productive – John Spencer

1.jpg

Breaking Up with Busy

When I was a new teacher, I believed I had to give 110% in everything I did. I thought that the best teachers were the ones who arrived first and left last. I was a busy teacher, taking on all kinds of committee work and saying yes to every project. But then I had a moment when I decided to “break up with busy.”

About eight years ago, I arrived home from work and my five-year-old son was already holding up a baseball.“We can play, but I don’t have a lot of time,” I told him.

All I could think about was my to-do list. I had a department meeting to plan, papers to grade, and small projects to finish. However, as I slipped on the baseball glove, something changed. I forgot about my list. We tossed the ball back and forth.

But my son kept asking, “Is there still time?” Is there still time?I couldn’t answer it. So, that night, I met with my wife and talked about my schedule. It was a hard conversation, where we talked about long-term priorities and what kind of a dad, husband, and teacher I wanted to be. I realized something critical: I was chasing perfectionism and trying to make a bunch of people happy and neglecting the people who mattered most.

That’s when I broke up with busy. I quit committees. I limited my projects. I set a curfew for myself at work. I learned when to give 110% and when to give 11 or 12 percent.

See, I was drowning in busy and yet I’d been wearing busy like a badge of honor; like I was winning some imaginary competition. But life isn’t a game. Actually, Life is a board game and I think it’s also a cereal (at least according to Mikey).

But here’s the thing: You don’t get a trophy for packing your schedule with more projects and more accomplishments and more meetings.

All you get is a bigger load of busy. But busy is hurried. Busy is overwhelmed. Busy is fast. Busy is careless. Busy is a hamster wheel that never ends and a sprint up the ladder without ever asking where it leads. There are moments when life gets busy. I get that. But I never want busy to be the new normal. I never want to look back at life and say, “Wow, I was really good at being busy.”

I Became More Productive When I “Broke Up with Busy”

When I made the leap and decided to “break up with busy,” I noticed something happening. I actually became a better teacher. After the difficult conversation with my wife, I remember thinking that I would be making sacrifices as an educator. However, that’s not what happened. I actually had more time, more energy, and more mental bandwidth to create epic projects for students. It turns out that I was more productive when I was able to rest. Here’s what I mean:

  1. I crafted better projects. I finally had the time to prepare project-based learning unit plans and resources because I wasn’t spending insane amounts of time inputting grades or putting together bulletin boards.
  2. I took creative risks. Once I found the root cause of overworking, I began to experiment with student-centered learning and get over the fear of making mistakes as a teacher. I had already been shifting toward project-based learning and design thinking but now I felt the freedom to take it to the next level.
  3. I started transforming my practice. I began to focus on the things that mattered most and giving myself the permission to be less-than-perfect in areas that were not as important. This ultimately helped me to prioritize and focus on transforming instruction in my own classroom.
  4. I became more of a maker in my own life. I began to engage in creative work in my spare time. For example, I started to do a Thursday evening Genius Hour project which ultimately led to things like a novel or sketch videos. I still make time for passion projects each week. For years, my wife and I have both taken one night a week to go work on our own passion projects.
  5. I shifted further toward student agency and empowerment. I had already been asking the question, “What am I doing for my students that they could be doing for themselves?” I was on the journey toward empowering students with voice and choice. However, once I was truly able to “break up with busy,” I took this student ownership to the next level by letting students self-select the scaffolding, engage in their own project management, and assess their own learning.

Being Busy or Being Productive?

There’s a difference between being busy and being productive. Being busy is about working harder while being productive is about working smarter. Being busy is frantic while being productive is focused. Being busy is fueled by perfectionism while being productive is fueled by purpose. Being busy is about being good at everything while being productive is about being great at a few important things.

As I shifted away from busy, I found myself asking the following question:

“How do I make time for the things that matter?”

We’ve all asked ourselves that at some point, and I bet these statements sound familiar, too:

  • I’m completely overwhelmed.
  • I’m struggling to differentiate between the urgent and the important.
  • I want to engage in my own creative projects but I can’t find the time.
  • I want to do creative and innovative projects with my students but I’m feeling tired, overwhelmed, and stressed out.
  • Being a teacher has consumed every spare minute of my life and honestly, I’m not enjoying it as much anymore.
  • I work on school stuff constantly and yet I’m never done . . . and I still feel like I’m not doing enough.
  • Something has to change.

I often meet teachers who want to innovate in their own practice but they are tired and overwhelmed. However, this requires a break away from the busy and toward the productive. Sometimes that can feel overwhelming.

The Need for a Roadmap

Don’t let anyone make you feel like you’re to blame or just need to manage your time better. There’s nothing wrong with YOU. The problem is the overwhelming demands of the job and the culture of perfectionism in education. When you’re overwhelmed, you don’t have the time, energy, or mental bandwidth to figure out HOW to change, and you’re too exhausted to follow through, anyway. You move into survival mode and grow risk-averse. In other words, your productivity plummets as your busy-ness increases.

You need an actual plan. It’s not enough to say, “I’m just going to break up with busy.” You ultimately have to tackle the root cause of the stress and overwhelm (in my case it was perfectionism). It also helps to create your own boundaries and find practical strategies for spending your time differently. But it also requires a different way of thinking about time.

It’s possible to figure this out on your own but you may want a coach and community to help you along the way. For me, it’s like the difference between going for a run or joining a gym and getting a personal trainer.  This is one of the reasons I love the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club.

It’s a teacher-tested system that’s guaranteed to work, and ongoing support so you don’t have to figure everything out on your own. There is no one in the world better at helping teachers solve this problem than Angela Watson. When I first chose to “break up with busy,” Angela had specific ideas and frameworks that I could use as I moved forward on this journey of time and stress management. She gave me concrete action steps that I could implement from day one.

The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club has already helped teachers around the world shave hours off their workweek, and become purposeful with their time. I am excited about partnering with her as an affiliate of this club. She provides necessary resources along with a trusted community that helps you to do “fewer things better.”

Angela Watson continues to inspire me in my own practice of prioritizing and making time for what matters. It’s not about working 40 hours a week, it is about finding the number of hours per week you should/could/can be working and make those hours productive and meaningful so you can thrive as a creative teacher. It’s about shifting the focus toward student ownership and empowerment so that you can innovate in your own practice.

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

 

What Leads to Profitability? In a New Survey, Successful Business Owners Share Lessons Learned – Victoria Treyger

1.jpg

The entrepreneurial journey can be exciting but also one filled with missteps and regrets. While some mistakes are unavoidable, business owners can reduce their learning curve by following wise advice from those with seasoned experience and long-lasting success. Who are those people? Their peers.

That was the idea behind a new survey by our company, Kabbage. In collaboration with the small business research firm Bredin, we polled 500 small business owners in nearly every industry across America and across the various life stages of a business. Our findings revealed what we consider valuable lessons on key, growth-producing moves by small business owners.

These are moves that could give newer entrepreneurs actionable knowledge.

Finding 1: What it means to be “in the black”

So what’s the benchmark time frame for turning a profit? A resounding 84 percent of our respondents stated that they had achieved profitability within the first four years of business and that they viewed this window of time as critical to prove that their business was, and is, built to last.

While overnight success isn’t commonplace, a surprising 68 percent reached profitability within the first year while 16 percent did so between years one and four. Only 8 percent reached profitability after their fifth year in business, and only 7 percent of respondents said they still were not profitable.

The strong indication was that the first four years are truly make-or-break years for any new company.

Still, it’s worth noting that these levels of profitability varied among 23 of the top industries in America that took part in the survey. While some entrepreneurs in fields such as medical equipment, personal services and publishing said they had yet to reach profitability, other industries, including advertising/marketing services, architect /engineering, automotive and banking/insurance reported having reached 100 percent profitability.

Two notable industries — restaurants and retailers — showed more staggered growth on their path to profitability; the reason might be both industries’ highly competitive and seasonal nature.

Image result for Profitability

The takeaway. Regardless of the industry, the four-year mark is a good time to take stock of your business. Is it profitable? Is it close to that status? If not, business owners should consider changes to their business model, from finding new ways to acquire and engage with customers, and reducing operational expenses, to changing products or services, or perhaps even hiring more employees.

Whatever the solution, the four-year factor in entrepreneurship common among our respondent may be helpful for you to compare your business against.

Finding 2: What “the cost” of doing business actually costs

The survey also uncovered a disconnect between business owners’ personal expectations, versus real-life examples of the costs and the level of credit required to do business.

Respondents stated that they needed to access as much as $10 million  of working capital during certain phases of their business, to support growth; the majority said they actually needed less than $500,000. However, these entrepreneurs as a whole fell short of anticipating the amount of capital their businesses would use in the future, versus the amount established businesses actually borrow:

  • 27 percent of business that that were in their first year (at the time of the survey) didn’t think they’d need to borrow funds — whereas, 38 percent of older companies borrowed in their first year
  • 57 percent of businesses that were in their first to fourth year of business didn’t think they’d need to borrow funds — whereas, 29 percent of older companies borrowed between their first and fourth years
  • 50 percent of businesses that were in their fifth to ninth year of business didn’t think they’d need to borrow funds –whereas, 26 percent of older companies borrowed between their fifth and ninth years
  • 74 percent of businesses that were in their tenth to 19th year of business didn’t think they’d need to borrow funds — whereas, 17 percent of older companies borrowed between their tenth and 19th years
  • 84 percent of business that were in their 20th-plus year of business didn’t think they’ll need to borrow funds –whereas, 14 percent of older companies borrowed during these years.
  • Years 20-plus: 14 percent accessed capital — versus 84 percent who expected to borrow

The finding: While the need for capital declined over time, a sizable percentage of businesses in the survey still required access at every age of the business.

Overall, there was a misconception of how much money companies believed they’d need in order to build a long-lasting company. As many as 67 percent of respondents said they would not need to borrow capital in the remaining years they expected to be in business; and 84 percent expected to be in business from five to 20-plus years.

Even though most businesses reach profitability in their first four years, our research showed that businesses still needed extra capital for unique opportunities or challenges they encountered This might mean capital to bridge cash-flow gaps, make strategic purchases, increase marketing spend or open new locations.

The takeaway. To reach high growth, capital is a vital tool to help you scale your business and take advantage of unique business opportunities.

Overall takeaways

While reaching profitability is a commendable achievement for any business, owners may find extra capital a great help for something like a wave of marketing initiatives if their acquisition of new customers has slowed or the retention of existing ones is not at the level needed.

Our research made a case for starting and building marketing programs early, even when budgets for these steps are minimal or nonexistent. In that case, a focus on PR, customer reviews and social media can help. These alternative forms of PR can help an owner make a big impact, just starting out, because online outreach helps the owner tell his or her unique story to a broad audience at a low cost.

Small businesses can also use Facebook as a customer-relationship management tool. It’s the perfect forum to both build a one-to-one experience with customers and to demonstrate to potential customers how responsive those businesses are to their needs.

Your kindly Donations would be so effective in order to fulfill our future research and endeavors – Thank you

6 Things Successful People Do Before 9 a.m. – Timothy Sykes

1.jpeg

What do successful people do differently? For one thing, they typically wake up very early. Long before they hit the office, they’ve been up and active, performing tasks that will set them up for success throughout the day.

By waking up early, you can get an edge on the day ahead. You’ll clear your mind and schedule so that you can focus on your work, which can help you reach your goals faster. Curious about how to make the most of your morning? Here are 6 things successful people do before 9 am, and how you can incorporate them into your routine.

1. Get physical

You’ve probably heard the phrase “healthy body, healthy mind.” It’s important to take care of yourself physically. For most people, early on in the day is the best time to exercise, before the responsibilities of the day kick in. Whether it’s a brisk walk with your dog, an early run or a bike ride, get your body moving. Not only will it make you feel good, but studies have shown that exercise can improve brain function, so it might even make you smarter at work.

2. Eat something

If you’re a busy person, chances are that eating a healthy breakfast is the last thing on your mind. But in terms of the day’s productivity, skipping breakfast can be a huge mistake. If you don’t eat something, chances are you’ll be hitting a vending machine or gorging on donuts at 10:30 am. How productive will you be, and how clearly will you be thinking at work, after that? If you want to be thinking and working at your best, make time to eat a balanced meal in the morning.

3. Take care of the necessary stuff.

Picking up the dry cleaning. Walking the dog. Packing school lunches. Everyone has things that they have to do. To get a leg up on the day, get these things out of the way early. When you wake up early, you have time to attend to these quotidian tasks that can take up valuable mind space during the workday. If you get them out of the way, then you can focus solely on work, and your day will be far more effective. It’s a small change that can have a massive impact on your career.

4. Cross off the most annoying to-do list item.

Everyone procrastinates on one thing or another. Start the day right and get at least one of those hard to tackle tasks off of your to-do list. In the morning, you’re at your most energized and refreshed, and best prepared to take on a difficult task or project. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter it makes you feel for the rest of the day. Not only will you have the sense of accomplishment at having completed that task, but it won’t be looming ahead and causing stress all day.

5. Learn something

To truly be successful in the long run, you must make a lifelong commitment to learning. There is never a point at which you’ve learned “enough”. Learning keeps the mind elastic and allows you to remain nimble in your work. This is important, as the landscape of every business will change over time.

Every day, make a point of spending some early AM time learning something. This might be by reading the newspaper, learning a new skill, or it might be by listening to podcasts relevant to your work. It might be a self-imposed study routine on a certain sector of your business. There are many ways to continue educating yourself. You never know what might give you your next great idea.

6. Make a plan.

The best time to map out your day is in the early morning, before the distractions of the day set in. This is a time to consider your goals for the day and how to prioritize tasks to realize them.

Be realistic in mapping out your day: don’t set a mile-long to-do list that you’ll never be able to complete, or schedule yourself in such a way that you’ll be running from thing to thing and getting stressed out. Leave some room for breaks. Consider this plan like a road map, as if you’re on a cross-country trip. You have the freedom to veer off course if needed, but the structure of a general plan will help keep your journey on the right path.

If everyone who reads our articles and like it , help to fund it. Our future would be much more secure if you send us your donations…THANK YOU

New Study Shows Correlation Between Employee Engagement And The Long-Lost Lunch Break – Alan Kohll

1.jpg

Many American employees strive to perform their best in the workplace. They work overtime, agree to take on extra projects and rarely take a step away from their desk. In reality, this “work hard” mentality isn’t effective – and it’s definitely unhealthy. Employees who believe that they must work 24/7 to achieve a good standing in the workplace have the wrong idea. And unfortunately, employees often gain this idea through employers’ attitudes.

Chaining yourself to a desk or scarfing down your lunch in your cubicle isn’t a recipe for success – it’s a recipe for disaster. Without taking adequate breaks from work, employee productivity, mental well-being and overall work performance begin to suffer. Overworked employees often deal with chronic stress that can easily lead to job burnout. While this not only negatively affects employee health and well-being, it negatively affects the bottom line, too.

This is why it’s important that employers start encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the workday – especially lunch breaks. These breaks are essential in helping employees de-stress and re-charge for the rest of the workday. Regular breaks can also help improve overall job satisfaction. A recent survey by Tork shows exactly how important lunch breaks are, along with how rare they are in the North American workplace.

According to the survey:

  • Nearly 20% of North American workers worry their bosses won’t think they are hardworking if they take regular lunch breaks, while 13% worry their co-workers will judge them.
  • 38% of employees don’t feel encouraged to take a lunch break.
  • 22% of North American bosses say that employees who take a regular lunch break are less hardworking.

These statistics are really a shame because regular breaks create better employees. In fact, according to the Tork survey, nearly 90% of North American employees claim that taking a lunch breaks helps them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work. There are many research-backed health, wellness and performance benefits of taking breaks. Here are just a few examples of the benefits of regular breaks:

  • Increased productivity. While taking breaks might sound counterintuitive when it comes to boosting productivity, it’s one of the best ways to do so. Employees gain focus and energy after stepping away from their desks. A lunch break can help prevent an unproductive, mid-afternoon slump.
  • Improved mental well-being. Employees need time to recharge. Stress is incredibly common in the North American workplace, and it has detrimental effects on employees. Taking some time away from the desk to go for a quick walk or enjoy a healthy lunch helps release some of this stress and improves mental well-being.
  • Creativity boost. Taking a break can give employees a fresh perspective on challenging projects. It’s hard for employees to develop new ideas or solutions when they’ve been looking at the same thing all day. A lunch break will most certainly help get those creative juices flowing.
  • More time for healthy habits. Regular breaks, including a lunch break, give employees time to practice healthy habits in the workplace. They can use break times to make a healthy lunch, exercise, meditate, or engage in a self-care activity.

2.jpeg

Besides these awesome benefits of regular breaks, the Tork survey also revealed that employees who take a lunch break on a daily basis feel more valued by their employer, and 81% of employees who take a daily lunch break having a strong desire to be an active member in their company.

North American employees who take a lunch break every day scored higher on a range of engagement metrics, including job satisfaction, likelihood to continue working at the same company and likelihood to recommend their employer to others.

I recently spoke with Jennifer Deal, the Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership and Affiliated Research Scientist at the Center for Effective Organizations at University of Southern California (USC). She had this to say about Tork’s research and employee lunch breaks:

“The Tork research shows that employees who take a lunch break are more likely to be satisfied with their job, and say they are as effective and efficient as they would like to be. This is consistent with other research, which shows that taking breaks from work is important for recovery – and adequate recovery is critical for top performance.

Energy isn’t unlimited, and just as athletes have halftime to rest during a game, employees need to rest so they can do their best work. Taking a break in the middle of the day for lunch is a recovery period, allowing employees to come back refreshed and reinvigorated for the second half – as this research clearly shows.”

Both Tork and Jennifer agree: employers will benefit from employees who take breaks. But how can employers change the mentality that “breaks are for slackers” in the workplace? Below are a few tips for encouraging employees to take breaks at your office:

  • Revamp break rooms. Be sure that the office has at least one break room for employees to retreat to whenever they need some time away from their desks. Provide comfortable furniture along with table and chairs for eating lunch. Employees will be more inclined to take breaks and lunch breaks when they have a comfortable space to do so.
  • Provide incentives. As a part of your workplace wellness program, offer employees some sort of incentive for taking regular breaks and a daily lunch break. Try creating a “break challenge” and have employees document their breaks throughout the day. Reward employees for their participation.
  • Discuss the benefits. Many employees aren’t aware of all the health and productivity benefits of regular breaks. Send out an email blast, put up some flyers or have managers give talks about the importance of taking some time away from the desk.
  • Take breaks yourself. Leading by example is always the best route. When employees see that their managers are taking lunch breaks and taking short breaks throughout the day, they’ll feel more encouraged to take breaks, too.

While the act of encouraging breaks is a huge step in the right direction, it’s also important to ensure that these breaks are healthy. For example, employees could potentially use break time for unhealthy habits such as getting fast food, smoking or scrolling through social media. Spending break time practicing poor health habits won’t yield productivity and wellness benefits.

4.jpg

 

 

Although employers can’t necessarily control how employees utilize their break time, they can certainly encourage healthy habits in the workplace. Here are some healthy break ideas:

  • Walking clubs. Team walking clubs are an excellent way to encourage regular breaks and physical activity. Encourage employees to form walking clubs with their colleagues and take two 10-minute walks each workday.
  • Healthy snacking. Stock company kitchens and break rooms with healthy snacking options like fresh fruit, veggies, hummus, and nuts. Encourage employees to take a midday break and do some healthy snacking together
  • Gym time. If employees really don’t want to leave the workplace for lunch, encourage them to use the gym instead. If you have an onsite gym, allow employees 30-minutes of on-the-clock time to use the facility. If you don’t have an onsite gym, consider bringing in a weekly yoga instructor or providing vouchers for gym memberships.
  • Socialize. Quality work relationships improve both mental and physical health. They help reduce stress and boost job satisfaction. Encourage employees to take breaks together by providing a game room or fun weekly team activities.
  • Quiet time. Sometimes break time is best spent as quiet time. Offer employees a quiet area to retreat to when they need to clear their minds and recharge. Employees can use this space to meditate, read or listen to some relaxing music.

Encouraging employees to take regular breaks throughout the day, including lunch breaks, is an easy way for employers to boost employee wellness along with work performance. Employers don’t want overworked employees running their business – it’s terrible for the bottom line. Help your employees feel refreshed and reduce some stress by allowing them to take regular breaks throughout the workday.

If everyone who reads our articles and likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure by your donations – Thank you.

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar