How To Encourage Your Employees To Take Breaks
Overworked employees are stressed out. Stress leads to job burnout and health issues that can affect a company’s bottom line. Taking breaks, especially a full lunch break, increases employee engagement and job satisfaction. Learn how to encourage your employees to take breaks.
Lead by Example
Some employees eat at their desks or skip lunch because they fear being judged as less hardworking if they take a break. They’re worried the boss will think they’re slacking. Many don’t feel encouraged to take lunch.
Break the pattern by encouraging a culture that openly appreciates the value of break time and lunch. Start at the top—make it known when you’ll be out for lunch. Put it on the shared calendar and so your employees can see you value lunch breaks as vital to your day.
Make It Fun
Encourage fun collaborations. Prepare your break room for the day when everyone can come back to the office after COVID-19 finally subsides. Provide comfortable seating, games such as pool, table tennis, or a professional dart set to give your break room a rec-room or pub-like feel (just be sure to hang the dart set away from traffic patterns, such as paths to the restroom or exists).
While work from home continues, encourage breaks involving cooperative trivia games, sharing fun facts via your chat platform, or posting a daily gif for everyone’s amusement. Incentivize breaks by providing prizes for friendly contest that can be held virtually. Gift cards for coffee or a new item of logoed company swag delivered to your employees’ homes will keep them engaged and connected to their colleagues and your company.
Encourage Healthy Habits and Communicate the Benefits of Breaks
Form a virtual walking club for your staff, encouraging them to share how many steps they take in a week or how many miles they log in a set amount of time during break. Be vocal with employees about the benefits of breaks and your expectation that breaks should be a part of their day.
Offer Unexpected Time Off
Add mental health days to your roster of benefits. Surprise employees by announcing the office will close early—or perhaps for several days—for staff to recover after stressful, busy periods. Emphasize that breaks aren’t rewards—they’re priorities. Your decision to provide additional time off is to help employees recharge and come back refreshed and productive.
Encouraging your employees to take breaks and making sure they know it’s an expectation will make them feel valued, increasing their engagement and loyalty.