Career Wellness

How to Take Effective Breaks: The 9 to 5 in a Hybrid Work Culture

Having the option to work from home or in the office is a privilege but for some, it may even add more stress. In fact, what you do during your break matters, nobody wants to burn out. Breaks are crucial, not only does time management affect how you deal with work stress but it can also affect how calm and in control you will feel about your profession. This can result in better work-life balance, also known as life-work balance, the new work buzzword. Here are some tips on how you can relax during your workday without having to wait for the weekend.

1) Lunch break done right

I know sometimes it’s like you can’t avoid it, but quite honestly nobody will award you for being able to eat lunch and work at the same time. This way of working is not productive at all and doesn’t classify as effective multitasking. For lunch hours, go for a 15-minute walk in the neighborhood, read a book, if you live in the city go grocery shopping, or to the gym, to unwind if time allows. Lunch breaks should not be spent while eating food in front of your work notebook.

2) Mini-breaks of great impact

An average office day is spent most of the time sitting. Before the pandemic: commuting, meeting rooms, printing machines, even the office kitchen were great ways to add some steps throughout the day. Being able to physically interact with colleagues was also an effective way to pause throughout the day. 

As the hybrid work environment appears to remain for the most, it’s more important to find opportunities throughout the day that add to physical health. Simple actions like placing your printer farther away and eating lunch in a different room can support physical health. Also, watering your plants during the day rather than after work, allow you to hit on pause for a few minutes, as this doesn’t require that much of a time unless you have a huge backyard. Additionally, try simple things like opening your window fully or going out to the sun for a breather, natural sunlight is truly very important and an after-work walk won’t give you the same satisfaction if it’s already dark outside.

3) Sticking to after-work activities

While after-work work events are rarer now, there is still a significant number of young individuals that work behind their notebooks after their colleagues with kids have logged off. Being a young professional is more challenging and you may find yourself in a position where you have to prove your skills but you cannot take back time, just like your colleagues with kids don’t want to miss the opportunity to see their kids grow up.

Young professionals and experienced individuals both need to take care of their physical and mental health, which also means prioritizing and protecting one’s private life. Try to schedule your after-work activities this way you will be mentally aware that you should not change your plans and can’t work overtime.

4) Ditch the routine

Choose a workday during the week that is dedicated to doing something that will take you out of your normal workday routine. This could be for example choosing a day i.e. Monday (which is usually dreaded by the most) where you try out different cuisines either for lunch or dinner. If you are not a food lover or this idea would require you to make financial changes, you can also dedicate a day where you focus on your relationships. Every i.e. Monday reach out to those from whom you haven’t heard recently but have tried to keep up with via social media. A call and personal meetup can lift your spirits and shift your mind away from work matters. 

For some, taking breaks at work is more challenging, remember though they are important for your mental and physical health. It’s crucial to remind yourself because not only do breaks make us more productive but they also make us better employees, better managers, and better people. We all prefer people that are easier to get along with and that starts with knowing when to take care of yourself.


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