How important are ‘Micro breaks’ and workspaces for work productivity?

26 July, 2021

A new research shows how employees are more active and less tired if they can take a short break at any time if needed.

It is a fact that productivity decreases throughout the day as fatigue and stress gain ground. That is why so-called micro-breaks are essential to overcome this obstacle, as they improve the ability to concentrate, reduce stress and make the day more enjoyable. But what are they?

With the changes in the workplace that have taken place due to the health crisis, people have sought to keep up with the pace of productivity and have come up with some productivity methods such as multitasking, which is considered to be a good way to accomplish more activities during the day.

The truth is that these work practices only diminish the performance of employees and suppress rest in favour of productivity in order to work more “efficiently”. To combat these practices and offer healthier alternatives for workers, Gran Via Business & Meeting Center discusses the benefits that micro breaks can bring to productive work and the methods necessary for their correct application.

Microbreaks: how can they improve work productivity?

An interesting Canadian study analysed the behaviour of 16 surgeons in the face of short breaks. They were tested pre-operatively, post-operatively with breaks and post-operatively without breaks. The specific objective was to determine the effects on their emotional health when they took these short breaks.

The results showed that surgeons had half the fatigue levels if they took a break after the operation, and were seven times more accurate at making drawings on paper, than those who did the operation without a break.

Rest helps mental and physical well-being

As the above study showed, taking short breaks to change position, stretch and think about something else has a positive influence on significantly affecting work efficiency. But that’s not all, there are several advantages of practising micro-breaks:

What do you do to achieve an effective micro-break?

Some people think that taking 5 minutes to check your phone or tablet is a way of “resting”. However, this will not relax the mind. On the contrary, it will only continue to strain the eyes, and when it is time to work, the body and mind will still be exhausted.

But then, what can be done to take successful micro-breaks for greater well-being? Some ways to achieve this are:

Wanting to always have a bottle of water at hand: although it sounds like a joke, this will make you take a water break every now and then. Fetching water will be the necessary regular micro-break that will also keep the body in optimal hydration conditions. An advantage in this line is to have vending areas or services in the facilities themselves that make it easier to get this drink.
Stand up and look at the landscape: enjoying the view for a few seconds clears the mind and relaxes the eyes. Afterwards, it is a good idea to stretch your body and limbs while thinking about something other than the work activity you were attending to. In the case of workspaces such as Gran Via BC, having an outside window and access to a private terrace for users of the centre is a great advantage that can serve as a perfect example for this point.
Chatting with a close colleague: just do it briefly and be careful not to interfere with any activity that requires concentration. Exchanging ideas can also help to gain inspiration. It is also recommended that it be from a different company or workspace, so that the disconnection, however brief, can be beneficial for both of you.
Comfort in the workplace: a priority for the break

In order to take micro-breaks in an optimal way, it is necessary to have the ideal offices or spaces for them. In the case of Gran Via BC, it has the health protocols established by law as well as all the corresponding safety measures, and is designed to provide comfort at all times. The offer of different spaces where you can take breaks outside the workplace, such as outdoor areas, rest areas or its recently opened Business Club are an example of this.

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