In 2018, Forbes published an article about a study which found a correlation between employee engagement and the appropriate amount of breaks during work. The study specifically targeted those employees who strive to maintain a ‘hard-working’ mentality, at the expense of their health and wellbeing. It was found that employees often gain this idea through the attitude of their employers.
Although you want your business to be successful and profitable, try not to promote a ‘chaining yourself to your desk’ attitude. The benefits of encouraging breaks are numerous. Without adequate breaks, employee productivity, mental wellness, and overall performance begin to suffer. Overworked employees can face chronic stress, which will have a detrimental effect on your business.
Here we talk you through five ways you can ensure your staff take more time out without compromising on productivity and requiring additional staff.
Schedule breaks in advance
As with anything in business, preparation is key. Scheduling employee breaks in advance can really help with your company’s people management. Whilst it may not be possible for you to know in advance when a good breaktime may be, the more notice you provide about when is acceptable, the more chance your staff have to manage their workload appropriately. Without a break in sight, staff can quickly become tired and demotivated.
Observe your staff
Whilst you can ask staff when they would prefer to take some time out, you should also pay attention to their needs yourself – monitor their energy levels and see if you can tell when their productivity or attention dips. You will learn to offer them a break before this happens. A break is not always appropriate, however, so think about changing their energy through offering variety in their workload.
In 2019, employees expect their managers to be accommodating to their wants, needs, and other commitments. Be flexible in your approach; make it clear to your staff that they can utilise and change their breaks, within reason, if they want to. It is certainly inappropriate in today’s climate for staff to be using breaktimes for essential wellness activities, like a doctor’s appointment. If you relax your attitude slightly, you will find that employees appreciate and respect you more, and in turn, work harder.
Generosity in the workplace
Time and time again studies find that when an employer meets the needs of their employee, they benefit from higher rates of employee retention. Breaks from work, or even bonus/additional breaks, show your staff your appreciation of their hard work. Indirectly, you are telling them that they are valued and that you care about keeping them around. This limits your staff turnover and prevents you from hiring unnecessarily.
Try a telephone answering service
A telephone answering service may be appropriate for your business. This means that when all of your lines are engaged, when your office is closed, or if there’s simply no-one available to respond to the telephone, a team will answer your incoming business calls for you.