Taking Breaks: Advocating Recovery in the Workplace

Post-it note reading "take a break!!" amongst scrunched up pieces of paper. Taking breaks: advocating recovery in the workplace by Bodyshot Performance.

It’s the last part of our series encouraging you to think about what we, as human beings, need to thrive in an office environment. And this applies to both remote working arrangements, and the collective office. So far, we’ve discussed natural light, movement, and meeting culture. This week, I want to talk about taking breaks.

Slivers of Recovery

I think we undervalue the importance of taking breaks. This is because we tend to think we should be performing at a high level all the time. And, as I often say, that simply isn’t sustainable. But for people to really thrive, they must feel comfortable taking breaks when needed. Ideally, managers or leaders will role model these ideas to demonstrate to broader teams across the organisation. Short breaks, to look out of the window or chat to a colleague, are slivers of recovery: small opportunities to recover throughout the day that can have a big impact over time.

Inclusive Working

You might also wish to trial the Pomodoro break cycle. This is when you take a five minute break after every 25 minutes of focus time. So, a burst of work, followed by a sliver of recovery. This is particularly important because you can’t expect to get the best out of people when they’re working in big blocks of time. And it all comes down to the fact most of us aren’t designed to function in that way. What’s more, certain neurodiversities aren’t suited to working like that at all, so it’s more inclusive. It also plays to people’s strengths, maintaining levels of energy, resilience and creativity – which is so important in business.

So, that’s it for this series, I hope you’ve found it helpful. I’d just like to summarise with this: 

Too often we put human beings into an environment they cannot thrive in – long working hours, rooms with no light, little physical movement or opportunities for taking breaks. So, what can you do as an advocate for yourself and your team, a leader, a manager or business owner to reconfigure your office setup to really get the best out of people?

Check out iTech Media, who I’ve worked with for quite some time. We’ve done some amazing things together to transform their office into a really fun, vibrant place for people to do great work in.

Wellbeing Resources

The Cadence Wellbeing Scorecard is a new tool that helps you assess and track your progress in achieving work-life balance, managing energy and improving overall wellbeing. By regularly taking the Cadence Wellbeing Scorecard, you can gain insights into areas of your life that may need improvement, identify patterns and trends over time, and set realistic goals for making positive changes.

In the bestselling book Rise and ShineLeanne Spencer shares her expertise and experience to show you how to spot the signs of professional burnout, recover, and go on to enjoy a happier, healthier life and career. 

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