Stop working yourself tired and stop working yourself bored.
I would have never thought that something as simple as taking a break once an hour in the office would have such as big effect on myself, my coworkers, or my employees.
Honestly, I used to think any sort of break or distraction would just break my focus and slow me down. Working in the tech industry or any fast-paced office place tends to build a culture around "focus". This involves a mindset of avoiding distractions at all costs. That mindset might make sense for a solid hour at a time, but eventually your brain is going to need a break.
There are studies all over the place like the one from Baylor University by the two professors Emily Hunter, Ph.D., and Cindy Wu, Ph.D.
95 employees were surveyed over the course of a standard work week. Their results suggested things such as:
- Break earlier in the day instead of waiting for lunch.
- Do something on your break that you love, even if it's still work related. Just try to do something that is not mandatory or specifically assigned to you.
- Taking breaks increased job satisfaction, overall health, energy, and motivation.
- Take short frequent breaks (around 15 min) instead of long infrequent breaks.
How We Use Busterbot
Since taking breaks at work is nothing new (even the Department of Labor has been aware for a while) let's talk about how it applies to Busterbot.
We created this thing so that we could boost morale in the office in the first place. It's not like we came up with this idea by paging through studies and articles; we just thought that it would be great if we could all take a quick hourly break to keep everyone's energy up. So we built a tool that we could use as a group instead of trying to force everyone to take individual breaks. We all know that having your boss walk up and tell you that you need to relax and take a break never helps you relax.
What we ended up with was something where we can apply the results from a study like the one performed at Baylor. Read through our Getting Started With Busterbot article. If you aren't already using the app, it will help explain some of what we are talking about down below.
Break earlier in the day instead of waiting for lunch.
Setup one of your bots to start at just the right time of day.
It's great to use the Office Hours feature and trigger a start time between 9AM and 10AM. That gives people time to get in the door, get settled, and start answering some emails. Before their eyes start to glaze over from those 100 emails, Slack will ping them with a random break reminder.
Do something on your break that you love.
Even if it's still work related. Just try to do something that is not mandatory or specifically assigned to you. With Busterbot you aren't going to get those personalized call outs, but you can setup your excercise list to be pretty close (remember exercises don't have to be fitness related).
Put your heads together as a team and figure out exactly what you think would work for the whole team, and then go ahead and fill out your Exercises List on your bot configuration.
You can even try out things like "Anything You Want" if you want to keep it vague or general.
Taking breaks increases job satisfaction, overall health, energy, and motivation.
The same way we setup our bot to start and stop on a specific time, we can setup our interval. I would recommend once an hour, but it's flexible depending on what your team needs.
Take short frequent breaks.
Make these around 15 min instead of long infrequent breaks. You'll have the ability to define a time period in your Exercise List so that you can end up with random call outs like the following:
- Susan, walk around the block twice.
- Bill, do squats for 60 seconds.
- Jen, go get a snack for 10 minutes.
Put It Into Practice
Let me know how we can help you get these principles into practice in your office or head over and sign up for Busterbot.
Founder @ Busterbot