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Encouraging Coffee Breaks at Work

By: George Waggott, founder, Roberto Fonseca-Velazquez, summer law student, George Waggott Law


Depending on your work environment, the days of chit chatting by the water cooler may be over. However, just because you can’t stand around a cooler with your colleagues does not mean you should do away with stepping away from your desk for a quick break.


Enter, the coffee break. According to Monster.ca, the coffee break is allegedly a 20th century invention becoming more prevalent after the Second World War which by all accounts makes it a staple of office life.


Depending on where you work, breaks throughout the day may be a part of your employer’s efforts to comply with employment standards legislation. But going beyond the law, taking coffee breaks throughout the day have been proven to provide an array of benefits to employees. These benefits are equally as important to employers since they can include increased performance, improved job satisfaction and heightened productivity. Indeed, a study conducted in 2010 by researchers at MIT found that employees in a U.S. call center who took coffee breaks together demonstrated an increased overall level of productivity.


Further, it is important for an employee’s physical health to get up and walk around, especially if they sit at a desk for most of their day. Encouraging coffee breaks is one way for managers and supervisors to motivate employees to get up and get moving! A related point is that it is well known that sitting at a computer all day is bad for an individual’s posture, dexterity, eyesight and overall health. Getting up from a desk and walking around can improve overall well-being and lead to a healthy office culture.


Coffee breaks encourage workplace friendships and comradery. Taking a break in the office with a colleague is a perfect opportunity for employees to get to know each other. This break

allows employees to chat about topics outside of work and will ultimately strengthen their relationships. In turn, this can lead to stronger team dynamic and overall job satisfaction. If employees like the people they work with, the organization will often also then have a happier and more enthusiastic workforce. 


Your employees will take breaks throughout the day naturally, so why not encourage these breaks to be a social opportunity with proven benefits.



For more information about George Waggott Law, please see: www.georgewaggott.com, or contact: george@georgewaggott.com

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