On average, British workers spend 3,515 full days at work over the course of a lifetime, with 188 days of overtime(1). Whether that’s working at a computer, behind the wheel, in a kitchen or manufacturing, work plays a major part in our day-to-day lives and therefore the state of our wellbeing. In this article, Danielle Cartney, Confectionery Category manager at NP talks about the benefits regular breaks can make and how we need to work together, as employees and employers to really make a change.
We all face pressure at work, whether it’s the endless stream of paperwork, an impending deadline or the realisation that the event you’ve been planning for months is just around the corner. For the sake of our wellbeing, it’s important that we find healthy ways to relax throughout the working day. Whether it’s having a short break to talk to a colleague or having a quick snack, we all need a way to balance our working time.
As a nation it seems we don’t know how to make the most of breaks as we don’t take full advantage of the ones given to us daily. For example, UK workers on average only take 27 minutes of their allotted 40-minute lunch break(2).
Start with a simple solution
One of the easiest ways to improve wellbeing and increase productivity is to encourage short breaks or microbreaks. Microbreaks can be anything from 30 seconds to five minutes and just one break can help improve mental accuracy by up to 13%(3). Furthermore, if you spend a lot of time working on a computer, even a 15-second break from the screen can reduce fatigue by up to 50%3.
Some easy ways to encourage employees to have a break include going for a quick walk, even if it’s just around the office or going and sitting in a breakout area for a few minutes to get away from the screen.
Recent research has found that almost three-quarters of workers (70%) believe that their mental health in the workplace is their sole responsibility, as opposed to 21% who believed their manager has some responsibility. Despite this, only 35% of employees surveyed were aware of their organisation having a mental health/wellness policy(4).
Some of the most common issues in the workplace are stress and fatigue, it’s an issue that’s having a palpable effect within organisations across the country, no matter the industry. Strong evidence has shown that good management and good wellbeing at work go hand in hand, as workplaces that encourage wellbeing practices have a happier and more productive workforce. Studies have also found that addressing wellbeing in the workplace can increase productivity by up to 12%(5).
KitKat has launched its Desk to Deck chair campaign to promote the importance of wellbeing in the workplace and how a short break can make a big difference. As part of this, the KitKat team is visiting organisations up and down the country to help improve workplace wellbeing by literally getting people up from their desk to a deck chair, where they can immerse themselves in soothing sounds of the sea. These little breaks will transport employees out of their work life for a few minutes and allow them to recharge and relax. And give them a chance to enjoy a KitKat!
KitKat is also offering consumers the chance to win one of 100 travel related ‘sun-believable’ prizes. And ten lucky consumers who find a winning holiday bar can win a break to one of ten amazing Virgin Holiday destinations worldwide (up to the value of £8,000).
To learn more about the KitKat campaign visit www.kitkat.co.uk.
(1) Accountancy Age (2018) How long does the average UK employee spend at work? https://www.accountancyage.com/2018/10/02/how-long-does-the-average-uk-employee-spend-at-work/
(2) More UK workers are skipping lunch – and paying the price (2017) https://www.totaljobs.com/insidejob/price-lunch-breaks-research/
(3) The Importance of Breaks At Work (https://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/the-importance-breaks-work.html)
(4) Kantar (2018) How is the world’s mental health https://uk.kantar.com/business/health/2018/how-is-the-worlds-mental-health/
(5) Mental Health Foundation (2019): How to support mental health at work https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/how-to-support-mental-health-at-work.pdf
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