March 4, 2015

With U.S. worker productivity declining, making this one change can help your employees

Seventeen-minute breaks can foster an overall more productive environment for workers.

Seventeen-minute breaks can foster an overall more productive environment for workers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “U.S. worker productivity declined in the final months of 2014.” The Federal Reserve is looking for a solution to the  problem that has persistently affected U.S. labor since the 1990’s and early 2000’s.
“Between 1995 and 2004, U.S. labor productivity growth averaged 2.9% per quarter. From 2005 through 2014, productivity growth averaged just 1.5% per quarter,” the U.S. Department of Labor reports.
A recent study from the social networking company, the Draugiem Group, found that following a schedule of 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of work enabled employees to be more productive. This study was conducted by the computer application DeskTime, used for tracking worker time-management and productivity.
The 10% of employees with the highest productivity rates didn’t work longer hours. According to Fast Company, they simply took regular breaks.
It is thought that these employees work steadily and diligently for the 52 minutes allotted. If no breaks are taken between tasks or even during tasks, according to Science Daily, cognition wanes and boredom sets in. This data should be used in supervisor training to work from leadership down implementing new break ideas and boredom breakers.
Schedule breaks
Starting off with breaks every 52 minutes may be hard for your company to start implementing (even if it is scientifically proven to help). Start by introducing breaks that work within your company schedule to benefit both employees and supervisors. Taking a break by taking part or a whole e-learning course might be a useful way to mentally break from your task at hand.
Make realistic to-do lists 
​You’re not going to get everything done in one day and attempting to do so will hinder your overall work ethic. Employee training should include realistic goals and manageable daily tasks. Checking off one thing is always better than checking off nothing.
Instill in your employees a sense of confidence in themselves to understand what types of breaks will work best for them.

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