Are Your Staff Taking Enough Breaks?

Published, 5 years ago

Research by Bupa has revealed that almost two thirds of British workers are too busy to take the twenty-minute lunch break that is required by law when they’re working shifts of six hours or more. In fact, a whopping 28% are not taking any breaks at all during their working day.

Take a second to think about how this applies to your business. Is there a culture of employees being chained to their desks until the end of their shift? And have you really taken the time to consider what the impact could be?

There are often several issues at play here, and it’s worth examining them a little further. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that committed and hardworking employees are an asset to a business, and this is of course true – but if your staff are not taking breaks, and you’re brushing it under the carpet or failing to see that it is indeed a problem – then the impact could be far reaching. Ultimately, staff who don’t take a break are likely to be less productive and less engaged. It shouldn’t just be an acceptable way of doing business!

It’s a subject that Arianna Huffington, owner of The Huffington Post, has touched on in some of her popular columns and books. The need to constantly be seen as working harder is driving us into the ground, and she’s a huge advocate for unplugging and recharging. This is a woman who has achieved global recognition for her leadership, and has featured in esteemed lists of the top people in media and the most influential women in the world – so it’s safe to say that she knows a thing or two when it comes to effective workplace practices.

Do you need to make a change within your workplace? Try out these success tips:

¥€_ Don’t just assume that this isn’t a problem within your business. Ask yourself honestly what’s going on, and sit back and observe for a few days. It’s not unknown for business owners to have a disconnect from what’s really happening

¥€_ Ensure your staff have a place to go away from their desks during their breaks. Space can sometimes be an issue, but even just a small room with comfortable seating can make all the difference

¥€_ Lead by example. Make it your business to take daily lunch breaks away from your desk. 24% of employees commented that they felt they couldn’t take a proper break because their boss didn’t

¥€_ Make sure that any targets you set for productivity take into account a lunch break

¥€_ If necessary, set a lunch break schedule so operational requirements are met. If everyone is heading out the door at 12pm on the dot, there might be some worries about practicalities such as who is going to answer the phones. This is easily avoided with a little planning

If you think you could do with some extra help with whipping your workplace practices into shape, give us a call for a no-obligation chat on 01536 215240 or email

With Best Wishes

The Gateway HR Team

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