The remote-workers who are most devoted to their work like to boast about the amount of work they can accomplish from home. It’s not their work that makes them more productive, but rather the time they spend relaxing.
Kory Black started to accomplish things during his breaks after he began working remotely last year for a creditunion. When he commuted every day to his job, he would get caught up in office gossip and eat takeout while the sun shade was down. He pauses to feed his son, do laundry, or eat a snack in his recliner with his dog.
The 45-year old South Carolina resident explained: “It is like setting your mind free and saying, I don’t think about work at this time.” “Just breathe in.”
What do workers do? Work, sure. If they are far away, they also unload the dishwasher, take runs and go to the pharmacy. Stanford University researchers and others have found that people who work from home are more likely than those who commute to work to exercise, run errands, and take care of their children.
According to a survey of over 4,500 people, office workers are more likely than others to pass the time by scrolling through the internet or playing games on their smartphones.
Our breaks are more valuable when we work remotely. They can be filled with things we want to do and need to accomplish. It’s important to find a mental break before tackling the next task.
Nick Bloom, economist at Stanford University, and one of its authors said: “You can totally shirk in the office.”
Bloom said that workers at home can make more rational decisions. Why wait until the night falls and everything is closed before you tackle your life? They instead tap into the leisure industry in the daytime, spreading out peak loads on golf courses and hair salons.
He described his rituals such as going to the gym at 11:00 a.m, as “serene and blissful”. They will make up for the work they missed tonight or tomorrow when they return to the office.
Office breaks made better
We’re governed by the rhythm of the train schedule at work and we feel that our co-workers will judge us if they see us late. We don’t want to openly work on our own to-do list, so we switch to our computer screens or return to our emails when our boss walks in.
But , we still need breaks. Pam Sampson is the chief program director of a Massachusetts non-profit and leads an 800 person staff.
She works in person five days a weeks with almost all of her staff. She knows that they go to Amazon to get their Prime Day deals, or call the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment. She is worried that if left to themselves, the people will “work and then work again and become more crabby and crabby and crabby,” she said.
Sampson’s “Stupid Games” is a mandatory break she calls every six weeks. She will gather 50 managers to go on a scavenger-hunt in central Massachusetts during the day or spend an afternoon in an Escape Room.
She said, “I make people do something.”
According to ActivTrak’s workforce analytics software, an analysis of 91,000 workers found that on-site employees are more productive than remote workers by 12 minutes a day. ActivTrak says that they do take more breaks than remote workers. They average two extra breaks per week. These breaks are also shorter than those of their colleagues at home who have to deal with partners, children, and even leafblowers. The office workers’ focus sessions, when they are not multitasking or away from computers, are also more frequent.
Gabriela Mauch is the vice president of ActivTrak’s productivity lab. She believes that interruptions in the workplace such as answering a question from a co-worker, will encourage workers to get back to their work faster. These distractions can even help you to get a better start on a project.
Ayelet Fischbach, professor of behavioral sciences and marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and author of a motivation-boosting book said: “The presence of others makes us better people.” She says we absorb other people’s schedules by osmosis and naturally take breaks between work and leisure, such as grabbing a coffee with a colleague.
You are always afraid of missing out on something when you’re alone at home. What is the cost of opportunity? “What should I have done?” she asked.
Breaks I choose to Take
Most employers would agree that taking breaks in the office is more productive. Most hybrid and remote workers that I have spoken to cling to the freedom of being able to work from home. The workers say that they log in early from their kitchen table, before their inboxes become flooded with requests. They find that they can complete tasks in half the amount of time. They put their babies in playpens in their offices, bake casseroles, and set timers for their watches.
Larry Lock, 26, a hybrid worker from Virginia, said to me, “The breaks that I take at home are breaks that I choose.” “And breaks at the office are those that I take.”
Brenda Schumacher, who is a marketing and communication professional in Dallas, recalls the daily routine of colleagues greeting each other, clearing their desks of lunch, and filling coffee cups.
She said, “It was a waste of time.” “That’s our work-life equilibrium, right there.”
She said the same thing at the end, when people were winding down. She said that even if she finished her work earlier, she still felt she couldn’t leave.
She found it exciting to start a remote position last year.
She said, “You don’t need to ask everyone how their weekend was.” “You can get on with your work.”