As the ancient Roman poet Ovid already knew, “What is without periods of rest will not endure.” Nevertheless, in our working world – and in Germany in particular – taking a break is an issue that always provokes heated debate. The reality is that breaks are essential to maintain the ability to work. Employees who fail to take breaks are likely to make more mistakes; lose concentration; and impact their ability to regenerate.
Were employers to take scientific findings into consideration, then they would actually have to praise their staff for taking a power nap. Employees who take a break on the job recharge their batteries and are then more focused. In some occupations, such as truck driving, there is general agreement that breaks must be taken. So why do people in other professions have such a problem recognizing that more frequent breaks would result in better, more efficient work?
Psychologists claim to have identified the way in which high performers work. “When it comes to such individuals it is not about how much they work but how they allocate their time,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision. These employees start work in the morning, when their brains are still rested, and take approximately 15-minute breaks every 90 minutes. Longer breaks will, however, reduce the recuperative effect.
A positive side effect is that a relaxed brain generates alpha waves, that are in turn responsible for the unexpected creative ideas that are suppressed when the brain is under pressure.