11 Aug Coffee Breaks Matter (and Group Activities)
Have you ever worked in a place with a toxic environment? And I don’t mean Homer Simpson’s nuclear power plant job. A work place where people stare daggers at each other or gossip behind the backs of others. A place where employees are there to do the bare minimum, collect a paycheck, and go home? If you have, have you ever though about what could have been done to improve the situation, or worse yet, are facing this very situation yourself in your own work place?
Then it’s time to take action! By drinking coffee! This may not make sense on the face, but it’s all about the workers getting to know more about each other, and the best way to do that is to allow the employee a work break so they can chat among themselves. Be sure to take a break yourself too!
Many businesses love when workers don’t take a coffee break, because it means more money in their pocket. But to make a good team of productive employees, this also means allowing them to get to know each other. A coffee break or two in a day is a perfect opportunity to not only take a mental rest from work, which will reduce errors and increase productivity afterwards, but it also allows the employees to get to know each other on a more personal level.
They’ll get to know about home situations, struggles and triumphs outside the workspace. This helps to build empathy and understanding about where a person’s coming from. It can make the difference between someone who seems cranky all the time to leaning they’re going through a bad divorce and are stressed out because of the out-of-work stress they’re under.
Another good idea is to use a coffee break to drop a bit of niceness down by providing some fun things from time to time, like cookies, muffins or doughnuts. Remember that not every gesture has to be a grand gesture; all these little ones add up and instantly lightens the mood. Lastly, take the staff out for a meal from time to time, which you may already do, but also pair it up with an after or before meal event such as bowling, golfing, or some other fun activity. These activities are great for allowing people to open up and be themselves.
Of course these steps won’t be able to solve all work place related issues, but they will help take a giant leap in the right direction. Like watching the characters on your favourite TV show, the more you know about them, and they know about each other, the more they will care about each other and be more willing to help them succeed.