Here’s a good question for a Monday morning: On a typical workday, what break activities are acceptable at work? Do you ever do things on a break that you would you cringe if a boss or colleague saw you doing? We’ve previously discussed homing from work and how to handle necessary phone calls at work, as well as shared tips on handling frequent doctors’ appointments and making time for therapy, but today let’s focus more on breaks for the sake of breaks. Are you strict with yourself about limiting non-work tasks at the office? Or do you have a casual attitude about taking breaks, as long as you get your work done?
Depending on your career, of course, this kind of break might not be possible, but let’s generalize and talk about the kind of job in which it’s feasible to take 15 to 30 minutes at a time to do something of your choosing.
If you’re having a stressful day and really need time to decompress (or it’s a typical day and you just feel like you need a break, ’cause don’t we all?), what do you think is acceptable? Chatting with a work friend for a while about decidedly non-work stuff? Taking a call from your mom and ending up having a chat? Watching Netflix or playing a phone game while you eat lunch? (Apparently so many employees DO watch Netflix at work that now there’s a Chrome extension to help you watch it discreetly.) Getting some wedding planning done, either online or via phone calls? Taking a nap? Doing a streaming workout, free YouTube workout, or simple exercises (squats, planks) in your office to fit exercise into a busy day? And if a coworker (or your boss) were to stop by your office while you were doing one of those things for a break, which would make you cringe, if any? (Does the time of day matter — for example, anything goes after 6:00 p.m.?)
Do tell, readers: In your opinion, what break activities are acceptable at work? Have you ever felt that you’ve gone too far with non-work activities at the office and needed to cut back? Do you ever notice your coworkers doing unreasonable activities during breaks at work?
- 51 Things to Do When You Need a Break At Work [The Muse]
- 14 Things To Do On Your Lunch Break Every Day [Forbes]
- You’re Taking Breaks the Wrong Way [Fast Company]
- 25 Things to Never Do at Work [Inc.]