Work Wellness

How to Manage your Employee’s Breaks?

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Mar 17, 2021
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Break time management is one of the most important skills that you can learn as a manager. Breaks have been shown to have major effects on workplace happiness as well as the productivity of employees. Break time management is also a useful productivity tool for managers to manage their employees. Knowing how to organize employee breaks and build an effective work break schedule properly can have profound effects on how well your business performs. It is important that you balance work and break time properly to avoid overworking your employees, resulting in their overall unhappiness and lowered productivity. This can be done through the implementation of a work break schedule.

It is also impossible to give your employees too many breaks. Doing so can result in them becoming lazy, also having a negative impact on productivity. For this reason, it is important that you are able to find a good balance of break time that manages to maximize their efficiency while at work. You can do this by tracking employee break time and observing the results that different amounts of break time have on their work rate. Discovering the best work to break ratios can do wonders for your business as a whole and can even have employees feeling more rested when they get home after working all day. First, we would like you to take a look at the pros and cons of break time management.

Pros and Cons of Break time Management

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  • icon checkBreak time management can show a supervisor who really works and who they have been paying to take multiple breaks.
  • icon checkIt can allow you to have more control over your business or company.
  • icon checkYou can create better relationships with your employees by hearing their feedback on certain topics in regard to break time.
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  • icon timesYou need to ensure that you don’t schedule too many breaks or that your employees don’t abuse any new guidelines.
  • icon timesRe-doing the original guidelines, or rules, can bring up some issues for employees who have been working there for years.

How to manage employees with break time management

Accommodation for Break Times

Accommodation for Break Times

Although you give your employees sufficient breaks, it is important that you accommodate for this time. Oftentimes, employees have nowhere to enjoy and relax during their breaks. This defeats the purpose as they are not able to properly relax while sitting at their desks. By establishing a designated break room, you can increase the effectiveness of the rest your employees receive.

It is important that you make these break rooms as comfortable as possible, giving your employees the best opportunity to get the rest that they need. Your employees are your best asset, and it is important that you look after them.

When creating a break room for break times for employees, you have full authority over what you put in it. Standard break rooms often have some couches and a table; however, you can be different. Adding some office accessories and fun activities for the employees to take part in while on break is a great way to make the most of the rest they receive. Adding a foosball table or any similar item is a great way to not only help your employees relax but also promote team building amongst your employees. This can really have a great impact on the overall atmosphere of the workplace.

Times and Period to Take a Break Which Does Not Affect the Efficiency

Times and Period to Take a Break

Finding the right amount of time that you should allocate and build work break schedule is important. Having breaks that are too short do not allow your staff to properly relax and recover from the effort that they have just exerted. The same can be said of having breaks that are too long; however, instead of your employees being under-rested, they can become lazy and complacent. For this reason, you should be aware of the effects that breaks have on your employees, as well as what time frame is the most effective.

It is generally recommended that for every hour your employees work, they should receive a short break like a 5-minute break. This ensures that they are always fresh, avoid burnout and maximize productivity. It is also recommended that for every two to four hours of work, you should give your employees a break of 30 minutes or more. Failing to do so can result in your employees becoming exhausted. This has a domino effect that causes the quality and efficiency of their work to decrease.

Having a Clear Break Plan

Having a Clear Break Plan

Having a break plan that outlines exactly when your employees can take a break requires tracking employee break time and provides some structure to the system. Ideally, you want all your employees to be aware of when they can take a break and relax. This entices them to work hard until the period where they know a break is coming. Doing so also prevents any unplanned breaks and disorder in the office. You can design lunch breaks and provide them with a good meal. You may be impressed by how lunch breaks boost productivity and employee’s work performance. The last thing that you want as a manager is employees taking breaks on their own time, as this can result in periods in the office where nothing gets done.

Organize Many Activities/Exercises During Breaktime

Organize Many Activities

As previously mentioned, having activities for your employees to partake in during break time is a great way to promote team building and improve the general atmosphere in the workplace. You can go above and beyond by organizing some fun activities that can assist your employees in blowing off some steam, allowing them to feel relaxed and ready to get to work once the break is over. Or you can let them do some mediation at desk during breaktime

Before organizing any such activities during break times for employees, you should make sure to consult with your employees as to what they would like to do. You do not want to organize an activity that the majority of your staff detests. This can end up feeling like you are taking away their breaks instead of improving the efficiency of them. By consulting your staff, you can determine exactly what they would like to do, having great results on how they feel when it's time to get back to work.

Focus on Work Performance and Outcome

Work Performance

The primary purpose of providing your staff with breaks is that you want to improve employee productivity and work performance. You should observe the effects of the breaks that you provide on the performance output of your workforce. By doing so, you can determine the optimal break time for your employees.

If you notice that the breaks you provide your employees with not having much of an effect on their productivity, you can adjust the break schedule so that it has a greater effect on this. You can play around with the schedule until you find the optimal time for breaks.

The Bottom Line

By following the guidelines set out in this article, you can optimize the effectiveness of the breaks that you provide your employees with. Make sure that the break time management you provide is having a positive effect on your business and not the opposite.

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