16 June 2021
Curated by: Redazione IVM

TAKE YOUR BRAIN BREAK

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We are all aware that technology is increasingly present both in everyday life and at work.

While on one hand it can help us in performing our roles, on the other, if it is not managed effectively, it can prove to be counterproductive and have a negative influence not only on people’s wellness, but also on their productivity at work.

In addition, the recent exponential escalation in virtual meetings and calls caused by the pandemic emergency has increased our exposure to digital tools, making this risk even more apparent.

Technology is not the only factor that has modified patterns of work: offices have undergone change as well.

Post-pandemic health necessities have forced companies to reorganise their workspaces according to social distancing regulations for worker health and safety.

Rather than being potential places of inclusion and social interaction, if new offices are not designed according to a precise concept they risk compromising workers’ sense of belonging and their experience at the company.

The question that has to be asked is therefore: “Which strategies should be adopted to make offices more productive while also focusing on people’s wellness?

 

THE BREAK AS A FACTOR OF VALUE FOR GREATER PRODUCTIVITY

When talking about worker wellness, we immediately think about breaks as opportunities for meeting and conversing with colleagues. To all effects and purposes, a break can become a factor of value for greater productivity.

This concept has also been confirmed by a recent research study presented by Microsoft, which, by analysing the cerebral wave activity of a sample of workers, shows that breaks have a positive impact on people’s wellness.

The study concentrated on the need to intersperse corporate meetings with scheduled break times: if these breaks are not included, this can have negative consequences, starting from the accumulation of stress that directly impairs people’s productivity.

pulsereport scans

Source: Microsoft

More specifically, the study shows that:

  • Breaks enable the brain to “reset”, reducing the risk of an excessive accumulation of stress;
  • Back-to-back meetings can reduce people’s capacity for concentration and engagement;
  • The transition from one meeting to the next can represent an additional source of stress.

Going into further detail, Microsoft warns of the increasing time spent in links to telematic meetings, a tendency that is shared by thousands of workers from all sectors.

According to the American company’s own Work Trend Index, which studies the development of trends in the world of work, in 2020 the time spent in meetings increased sharply, reaching almost three times the figure for the previous year.

In the face of this scenario, companies are expected to intervene, partly by improving the quality of their meetings, and partly by planning specific break times to enable workers to perform better.

RELAXATION OR BREAK AREAS FOR WORKER WELLNESS

area break azienda

In the light of these considerations, while breaks can be a factor helping to recharge energy and be more productive, it is also true that organisations have to be capable of ensuring their value, by creating workspaces that are specifically designed to encourage moments of relaxation and social interaction.

The design of relaxation or break areas is the first step for companies wishing to ensure that their premises are inclusive workplaces that encourage productivity.

In addition to highlighting the essential role of design, these areas offer multiple benefits:

  • They increase workers’ sense of belonging
  • They give the company a precise identity
  • They make employees happier and more satisfied

Area break

The real challenge for companies is therefore the adoption of a strategic design approach that meets workers’ real needs and expectations.

You could also read this article to find out how to design a relaxation area.

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