Employees Burning Out From a Lack of Work Breaks

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 06-03-2014 Email Print this article Print

Except for a lunch break, an alarming number of professionals say they literally work non-stop at their desks all day, according to a recent survey from Staples. This, despite the fact that the vast majority of employers say they encourage breaks, and the workers themselves cite a wide range of resulting benefits from recharging (including productivity). So what's stopping them? Well, there's that nagging, guilty feeling that tells them they can't put work down for even one minute. But CIOs and other managers could do a better job by providing break rooms with inviting furnishings and healthy snacks, findings show. "Employers are encouraging employees to take a break," says Tom Heisroth, senior vice president, commercial and enterprise sales, Staples Advantage. "But they need to back that up by providing a well-stocked break room that encourages employees to step away and not feel tied to their work." More than 200 office workers and managers in the U.S. and Canada participated in the research. For more about the survey, click here.

  • The Grindstone

    More than one-quarter of professionals don't take breaks at work, other than lunch.
    The Grindstone
  • Chained to the Cubicle

    55% say they can't leave their desks for a break, and one in five say they'd feel too much guilt if they took a break.
    Chained to the Cubicle
  • A Win-Win Proposition

    90% of employers say they encourage breaks, and 86% of workers acknowledge that taking a break would make them more productive.
    A Win-Win Proposition
  • Me Time

    41% of employees feel burnt out from working longer days, and say regular breaks would improve their work (59%), personal happiness (43%) and health (37%).
    Me Time
  • What Employees Would Like to Do on a Break

    Eat Lunch: 84%, Run errands: 57%, Socialize with coworkers: 24%, Exercise: 20%
    What Employees Would Like to Do on a Break
  • BYOS (Bring Your Own Snack)

    86% of survey participants say their office doesn't supply snacks to encourage breaks.
    BYOS (Bring Your Own Snack)
  • Nutrition Solution

    57% of employees want healthy snacks (like nuts, fruits and granola bars) in the break room, compared to just 10% who want chips, cookies and candy.
    Nutrition Solution
  • Caffeine Fix

    30% say their companies don't supply coffee, and 45% of employees say they take up to 40 minutes to leave the office to get coffee.
    Caffeine Fix
  • Unfurnished Space

    50% of survey respondents say their company doesn't supply comfy furniture in the break room to encourage its use.
    Unfurnished Space
  • Catching ZZZs

    10% of employees admit they'd take naps at lunch if they could.
    Catching ZZZs
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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