Taking breaks at work? New study shows they boost your productivity
If your workload is piling up, you may opt to tackle it all without taking any breaks, in order to manage it quicker.
But a new study from the University of Waterloo suggests that heavy workloads that discourage employees from taking breaks could disrupt general performance, causing high levels of stress and fatigue that stand in the way of productivity.
“Our research provides a comprehensive account of the processes involved in the decision to take a break and provides insights into how employees and managers can make more effective use of breaks at work, potentially improving both well-being and performance,” James Beck, professor of industrial and organizational psychology at Waterloo, said in a press release.
Researchers surveyed 10 employees about their rationales for taking breaks or not taking them during workdays. They also questioned 287 workers twice daily over five days about performance concerns tied to sleep, fatigue, and the general workload that might be preventing them from taking more breaks.
Despite the fact that prior research has shown breaks benefit employee performance and general well-being, a large factor comes down to supervision. When workers feel like supervisors “discourage breaks in their workplace” they become less likely to take them.
Vincent Phan, one of the study’s authors, acknowledges certain work limitations can prevent employees from taking breaks that could benefit their well being and general performance, but said “if employers can promote employee well-being by addressing the conditions that can make work unpleasant, they may be able to reduce the number of breaks needed.”
With the varying demands of different work environments, the researchers with the University of Waterloo hope their findings will help promote employee well-being and change the demanding hustle that leads to burnout, fatigue, and dissatisfaction at work.
MORE Business News
opinion | Find out how much contribution room is left in your RESP to avoid penalties
Opening a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a great way to fund your child’s future education. Personal finance contributor Christopher Liew outlines the contribution rules for RESPs and explains how to find out how much contribution room you have left so that you can avoid penalties.
opinion | Is it a good time to buy a new vehicle?
If you're like many would-be vehicle shoppers, you may be wondering when prices will finally drop. The good news is that the vehicle market seems to be finally stabilizing, says personal finance contributor Christopher Liew.
opinion | How to get the most out of your grocery rebate
Personal finance contributor Christoper Liew shares the latest information about who’s eligible for the grocery rebate, when they can expect their payments, and some helpful tips on making the most of your grocery rebate.
opinion | Dos and don'ts of money while travelling
As a former financial advisor, I’ve always been fascinated by how the 'culture' around money differs from one region of the world to another,' writes personal finance commentator Christopher Liew. 'Today, I’ll outline some of the interesting money habits that I’ve noticed while travelling the globe, starting with some of our own!'
opinion | How much of a raise should you ask for in a time of high inflation?
With the rising cost of food and living expenses, you might be considering asking for a raise. On CTVNews.ca, personal finance contributer Christopher Liew explains how inflation could determine the extent of your raise, as well as other key factors.
opinion | Top sources of passive income for Canadians looking to earn more
On CTVNews.ca, personal finance contributor Christopher Liew explores some of the top sources of passive income in Canada, for those looking to increase their earnings.
Owe money to the CRA? Here are some repayment options
Getting an income tax refund can be a happy bonus for your household budget, but an unexpected tax bill can be an unpleasant surprise, especially if you don't have the cash on hand to pay it.
Canadians with celiac disease especially hard hit by grocery price pain, group says
Those prices have been increasing even more along with the rising cost of groceries overall. Celiac Canada says gluten-free products cost between 150 and 500 per cent more than their regular gluten-containing equivalents.