Why Your Employees Are Terrified of Taking a Break


While for most entrepreneurs it may appear to be illogical, a new study actually shows that you should encourage the members of your team to take more breaks.

Go ahead and asks all the psychologists you can find or your management professors, they’ll tell you the same thing – everyone should take regular breaks to increase their productivity. It’s not laziness, it’s just how the brain works.

While Staples’ new survey states that employees should take more breaks, employees worldwide haven’t received the memo.

When the company talked to over 200 of its employees, Staples discovered that managers and team leaders considered that breaks are extremely important to employees. While 90 percent of bosses consider that they encourage breaks and 86 percent of employees believe that taking breaks makes them even more productive, there is a difference between what employees say and what they actually do.

For example, approximately 25% of the surveyed employees admitted to never leaving the desks not even for lunch. And what are the effects of working without a break you might ask? Well, 41 % of employees answered that they feel burned out or low on fuel.

The fact that employees are burned out is harmful both for the employee but also for the employer. The only logical conclusion is that management is the main reason for the lack of breaks. 55 percent of employees stated that they consider they can never leave their desks to take a break, while 20 percent said that guilt is the reason why they refuse to step away from the work station. In other words, most of the employees are terrified of taking a break so that they won’t be on their boss’s wrong side, thus showing them a sign of disapproval.

So how can you be a true leader and encourage your employees to take breaks so that they don’t feel guilty or afraid? For example you could build a modern break room. This will take you one step closer to convincing your employees to take a timeout, regardless of the furniture and little things that are used to decorate it.

If you can’t afford a break room, just use your people skills and tell them on a friendly tone that it’s OK to take a break from now and then. I know it may seem like you’re telling birds, hey, you can actually fly. Nonetheless they will see this as a sign of appreciation and ensure them a few moments of happiness and relief. And let’s not forget, productivity will see a significant increase. Don’t just trust me, go ahead and try it.

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