The importance of the Coffee Break...Partly for the switch of attention away from the task in hand and partly perhaps the boost from some caffeine and the enjoyment of a great tasting brew, some people embrace it but more miss out on the benefits of the Coffee Break.
This may be because you are shackled to your desk by a Draconian dictatorship but even some people who work for enlightened Thought Leaders (or one of the few remaining institutions who keep this important tradition alive) struggle to fit it in.
The Benefits of Coffee Breaks
They have been found to;
- Boost productivity
- Refresh focus
- Relieve stress
- Help memory function
- Be a social opportunity (if you want)
- Improve your mood
Sign of the times
During Lockdown, my coffee breaks were taken with a thermal mug on walks either in the park or in the hills behind our office. Increasingly now, I am more likely to come back to my desk and watch some YouTube or do some life admin – even so, it still feels like a break. Although getting out and about if you can, boosts the many benefits even more.
If you do break, do you break alone or take advantage of the time to socialise? Spending time with other people (even colleagues) can be a very efficient way to switch off, apparently. Do you even seek people out for a virtual break?
Digital coffee breaks
Some remote workers take communal coffee breaks on Zoom etc. these meetings have been found to boost mood and refresh concentration much like a ‘traditional’ break does. The CEO of GitHub who have remote workers in 39 countries says “face-to-face interactions are arguably even more important in a remote environment, as they can help prevent potential burnout and isolation.”
That guy who brings his own coffee
Don’t be afraid to be 'that guy' if the alternative is nasty! I travel with my Good to Go cup and some Brilliant Raccoon but if it is going to cause civil unrest, maybe bring in some biscuits and be ‘that guy’ instead.
Just for balance
I did see a study that suggested breaks are not necessarily positive and that taking time out to check Social media or make plans for the weekend etc. can be counter-productive and helping a colleague has more benefits. Sounds suspiciously like something that Draconian boss would say!
It seems to me that there are overwhelming benefits and we should make more of our breaks and take time to enjoy a good coffee.