The importance of breaks for well-being in the office
In the era of the hyper-connected office, in which the speed and the constant acceleration of time risk compromising individual experientiality, “taking a break” during work becomes ever more important.
However, it is a well-known fact that nowadays the dynamic nature of work does not always allow for breaks, in which people can recharge their batteries. This problem becomes even more pressing when also considering the absence of suitably designed spaces for personal well-being.
This is why the so-called technique of active microbreaks is spreading throughout offices; a tangible activity to take advantage of that can potentially make a drastic improvement to office life.
This solution has been presented by the School of Health Professions and Education – Utica Collage of New York, USA, which stresses how the introduction of active microbreaks into everyday working life can help prevent physical and mental health problems among workers.
With the principle of microbreaks, it is not the quantity that makes a difference, so much as the continuity and the consistency with which they are taken.
A 1-3 minute pause every 20-30 minutes is the solution to increasing work performance and reducing the risk of burnout.
This theory has been confirmed by another study carried out at North Carolina State University and published in March 2021, which involved hundreds of workers in the United States. One of the aspects that emerged from the study was that, in comparison to workers who do not take breaks, employees applying the technique of microbreaks show higher levels of attention and concentration and are more motivated to reaching their professional goals.
It is therefore fundamental to approach an office PROJECT with a thought to spaces dedicated to breaks, such as areas for conversation, gathering and inclusion that also offer relaxation, privacy and fun. A tailor-made series of solutions, with furniture and finishings specifically designed for lending proper form and identity to well-being in the office.
The true challenge is to shake off the idea of the break as an obstacle to productivity, a typical view of a corporate culture too deeply rooted in a static and standardised idea of the office, and design professional spaces on the basis of people’s actual needs. Why not begin with breaks?
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