Encouraging Your Team To Take A Break

Your people

Taking a break is great for you and your work. It gives you time to re-charge and come back to your work feeling more energised!

You should take small breaks throughout the day and of course for longer periods across the year. Since the pandemic our ways of working have changed and we now see lots more people  working from home and taking less short breaks during the day.

There are so many benefits to working at home, but one drawback can be that you’re less likely to take a break if you’re not in your workplace. The kitchen is a shorter walk away, there are fewer people to have a quick chat with and you don’t have to leave to catch the train home – it’s tempting to just keep on working.

If you know the people in your team are struggling to take a break, here are some ideas to encourage them to.

Share what you’re doing

If you have a team WhatsApp group or Teams channel, start sharing a photo of something nice you’ve done on your lunch break. The Heart of the City team often share photos of tasty lunches we’ve made or our beautiful dog walks we’ve been on.

When you see someone else sharing what they’ve done, it encourages you to go and do the same and it shows that taking breaks is supported and encouraged.

And if you lead a team, make sure you share some of what you do on your breaks too. Lead by example and it’ll mean other people are more likely to feel able to take a break.

Get people together

It’s also important to sometime take a break from the norm and you can use this as an opportunity to bring your team together.  Consider having a break together – and why not do some volunteering at the same time? For Volunteers’ Week in June, the Heart of the City team spent the day volunteering together at a local playground. As a hybrid working team, it was brilliant to be together and being outside for the day really energised us to get back to our projects the next day.

If your team is fully remote working and you can’t get together in person, you can still offer some online activities for teams to do. One of our ambassador companies, BE Offices, hosts lots of online workshops such as yoga, reflexology and cookalongs. Do you have someone in your team with a skill they could share with others for a fun break?

Hold a competition

Holding a competition can really encourage people to take some time away from their computers. The City of London Corporation, where Heart of the City is funded and housed, has various groups for employees and runs competitions with prizes throughout the year.

A couple of us from Heart of the City recently took part in the Corporation running challenge, signing up to run a specific distance in six weeks. As well as being a great driver to take a break from work, it also meant we socialised (virtually) with each other and got to know some new people. And you don’t need a huge prize to get people involved – it’s definitely the taking part that counts!

This was last updated in December 2023 by Heart of the City. We’ve created these resources for individual SMEs to use. None of our content is to be adapted, reused or repurposed for commercial use.