Want to Work Better? Take a Nap
A new study has found that taking a quick break refreshes you for projects later in the day, it turns out.
Recent research shows that people are more likely to take “microbreaks” at work on days when they’re tired – but that’s not a bad thing. The researchers found microbreaks seem to help tired employees bounce back from their morning fatigue and engage with their work better over the course of the day, newswise.com reports.
"At issue are microbreaks, which are short, voluntary and impromptu respites in the workday. Microbreaks include discretionary activities such as having a snack, chatting with a colleague, stretching or working on a crossword puzzle," the web site reports.
“A microbreak is, by definition, short,” says Sophia Cho, co-author of a paper on the work and an assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, at newswise.com. “But a five-minute break can be golden if you take it at the right time. Our study shows that it is in a company’s best interest to give employees autonomy in terms of taking microbreaks when they are needed – it helps employees effectively manage their energy and engage in their work throughout the day.”
Hmm. Bosses, are you listening? I still say no executive is going to want to see her employees doing a crossword puzzle on her tim, or stretching or maybe reading a novel.
But the study, which explored issues related to microbreaks in the workday, aimed at "improving our understanding of how people boost or maintain their energy levels throughout the day," tried to figure out how to help employees engage with work even when they start the day already exhausted.
The studies also examined which factors might play a role in determining whether people took microbreaks, or what they did during those microbreaks,' the web site explains.
The results were straightforward: on days that people were already fatigued when they arrived at work, they tended to take microbreaks more frequently. And taking microbreaks helped them maintain their energy level. This, in turn, helped them meet work demands and engage with work better.
“Basically, microbreaks help you manage your energy resources over the course of the day – and that’s particularly beneficial on days when you’re tired,” Cho says.