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Employees Tend to Avoid Breaks Despite High Stress

worker at computer surrounded by stacks of papers

Prolonged effort and energy expenditure without rest can result in decreased well-being and performance.

Credit: Getty Images

Heavy workloads may discourage employees from taking breaks at work despite causing high levels of stress, fatigue, and poor performance, published research shows.

Researchers from the University of Waterloo found employees often kept working despite wanting to pause. One potential reason is pressure to continue working to get everything done on time.

Although previous research has shown that breaks can benefit employee well-being and performance, workers may resist taking breaks if they feel supervisors discourage breaks in their workplace, the researchers say. Although there may be a misconception that breaks are unproductive, author Vincent Phan notes that many employees take breaks because they are committed to staying focused and maintaining high levels of performance.

"If employers can promote employee well-being by addressing the conditions that can make work unpleasant, they may be able to reduce the number of breaks needed," Phan says.

From University of Waterloo
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