It’s so easy to get caught up in work that we forget to take a break. But in our efforts to be more productive, we might actually be achieving less.
One study showed that taking a brief break from work tasks once an hour can help your attention and performance. And HealthPartners conducted and published our own case study that also backs up this idea. Here’s what our researchers found:
“Stress happens, and it happens to everyone. If workers do not have skills and habits to help support them when they’re stressed, their productivity declines. Their precision and accuracy, speed and quality of work, problem solving and interpersonal communications all suffer.”
When we take a break for an activity such as meditation, physical activity or playing a game, we often experience positive emotions and decreased stress. So at several of our locations across HealthPartners, we’ve made it a little easier for colleagues to do just that.
The Center for Employee Resilience at Regions Hospital has a quiet, spa-like feel and is open to help hospital employees 24/7. Similar spaces to this one include the Well-Being Center at Hudson Hospital & Clinic and the Resilience Room at our corporate office in Bloomington. And our six Lakeview Hospital and Stillwater Medical Group locations have resilience kits on hand for employees to use at any time.
These spaces and kits offer ways for staff to switch off from their day-to-day tasks – even if only for a few minutes. People can try something completely different and feel more relaxed, renewed and restored before returning to work.
Here’s some of the feedback I’ve heard from colleagues who have used the resilience resources:
- “Going to the Center for Employee Resilience slows me down so I can get through the rest of the day. ““We have so much noise and clutter in our lives. So it’s really great to have the support to take breaks for personal rejuvenation.”“I plan my day around taking a half hour to go into our Center and reset. Being able to sit down in front of a big window and close your eyes takes you out of work and breaks the day down into parts. It puts my brain back in the working state of mind so I can think clearly again.”
In the resilience spaces and kits at HealthPartners, we include items such as:
- Sound therapy machine
- Joke books, puzzles and Rubik’s cubes
- Colored pencils and doodling paper
- Yoga and meditation exercises
- Resistance bands and foam body rollers
- Stress relief tea
I encourage you to consider making up your own resilience kit. But if compiling one isn’t your cup of tea (speaking of which, drinking tea has its own benefits!), try to take a few minutes during the work day to take a break. You’ll likely find that it will give you more energy and mental clarity. And you may even feel more creative when you come back to your original task. Ultimately, you’ll be more productive – not less. And if your coworkers get in on the practice, I can almost bet you’ll see your workplace as a whole become happier and healthier, too!
What exactly is “resilience”?
Emotional resilience is the ability to bounce back and cope without giving in when faced with stress. Taking regular breaks to relax and move our bodies can help us develop this ability, whether we’re in the office or balancing work and life at home. Practicing healthy thinking and communication can increase resilience, too. Anyone can practice these skills with HealthPartners’ free online resources.