Someone says it is essential, while for others it's just an opportunity to stretch their legs and have a chat with colleagues.
There are those who, on the other hand, take advantage of it for checking their phones.
The coffee break at work is a moment of relaxation and socialization which, according to some studies, seems to bring concrete benefits. Let's see together which ones.
Coffee break: the benefits for socialization and productivity
A survey conducted in the United States by Tork has highlighted that, according to 90% of employees, a break during working hours helps them concentrate, find better ideas and return to their desk more energetic.
More benefits have emerged from other studies. Which positive effects?
● Temporarily interrupting work and moving away from one's workstation is essential, first of all, for our body.
Above all, when you spend the day sitting at a desk and in front of a screen, your muscles, spine and eyesight benefit from a break: taking a stroll is suggested.
Five minutes of activity every hour helps, in fact, to get rid of the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
● Intellectual work constantly engages our brain, which needs a break from time to time.
A coffee break is just what you need to distract yourself for a few minutes and recover mental freshness.
About this, a study states that the ability to make decisions is influenced by tiredness: for those who have to do it several times during working days, a break would help not to postpone things and always decide with full knowledge of the facts.
● As reported by Psychology Today, stopping for a few minutes makes you more motivated, especially on long-term goals.
In fact, when we work, the prefrontal cortex makes an effort and, if the necessary effort is prolonged, taking a break helps to maintain attention and find the right motivation.
● Productivity and creativity also benefit from the positive effects of the coffee break.
An additional benefit lies in the reduction of stress levels.
● Drinking a coffee and chatting with colleagues, finally, helps socialize and team up, with the advantage of creating a more relaxed, serene working environment, in which difficulties are better addressed and even the newcomers can easily integrate.
Taking a break is an excellent habit, but there are cases in which it is better to postpone it: for example, it makes no sense to interrupt work when we are in the middle of an activity that absorbs us completely, if we don't feel like doing it.
It's better to take advantage of the moment, complete the task and then enjoy a well-deserved break.
Coffee break, what is the perfect time?
As we have seen, therefore, the positive effects of the coffee break are different, but do they depend only on the beverage we sip?
Coffee certainly brings some benefits but, according to studies, the advantages we have mentioned derive from the break itself.
However, it should be emphasized that, according to a US researcher, there is an ideal time to best enjoy coffee properties: between 9.30 and 11.30 in the morning.
In fact, mid-morning cortisol (the hormone that keeps us awake) physiologically begins to drop.
Therefore, taking a break in this interval of time is a good habit to reinvigorate your energies and continue to feel active even in the following work hours.
Coffee break according to the Swedes: Fika
Sweden is one among European countries famous for its work-life balance and work culture, where the coffee break is a deeply rooted ritual.
It's called Fika, a word that comes from the dialectal term that in the past meant coffee.
Coffee, however, is just one of the many cornerstones of this break, which also serves to socialize: to fully enjoy the benefits, it would be perfect to spend the break in a dedicated room, away from computers and telephones, and chat with the colleagues.
How do you spend your coffee break?
Is it also fundamental during your working day?