UC Davis Professor Notes Importance of Workplace Break Time

UC Davis Graduate School of Management Professor Kimberly Elsbach offered advice to workers on office wellness in a recent article in the Washington Post.

Elsbach is Associate Dean and Professor of Organizational Behavior and the Stephen G. Newberry Endowed Chair in Leadership at UC Davis GSM. Her research expertise is focused on effective organizational leadership as well as the promotion of positive images of leadership and trustworthiness within business environments.

Elsbach notes in the article, “For creative thinking, one of the most restorative environments is a natural environment.” While some workers might think that eating at their desk is the most efficient habit in today’s competitive workplace, Elsbach points out that taking a break, especially outdoors, promotes creative thinking and reduces stress, not to mention giving workers’ eyes a break from the physically taxing exposure to their computer screens.

While there may be an unconscious perception of productivity by co-workers who observe their colleagues remaining at their desks throughout the day, there is actually proof that those who take breaks, especially outside, are the most efficient. According to a recent research effort conducted through productivity and time tracking app DeskTime, the most productive workers are those that take frequent breaks, lasting roughly 17 minutes each.

Elsbach also notes the importance of social interaction during breaks, in that it provides casual networking and a pause from the relative isolation of working in front of a computer.


About the Author

Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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