Tea, Cigarette, or Internet Use – Which Break is Best?

May 28, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new report indicates that the current trend towards banning personal Internet use in the workplace could be costing British businesses up to £4 billion every year due to a resulting decline in staff productivity.

In a press release, PopCap Games suggests that online breaks do not distract employees, but instead serve to reduce stress and sharpen and refocus the mind. The report was based on psychometric trials carried out on a cross section of UK businesses under the supervision of a Goldsmiths University psychologist which tested the comparative effect of different types of online breaks on employees’ performances.

The results indicated that if bosses actively encouraged employees to take one ten minute e-break in the working day, employees’ overall productivity levels would increase, according to the press release.

PopCap Games says its research shows that a ban on e-breaks could actually reduce staff efficiency and morale.

Over half (57%) of UK workers shun the traditional tea break in favor of an office e-break to unwind. However, while tea breaks are accepted, snatching five minutes online is frowned upon, and 71% of employees admit to sneaking online while their boss isn’t looking.

In addition, 47% of employees surveyed felt that taking a five-minute cigarette break during work hours was deemed more acceptable by their boss than spending time surfing online.

In light of its findings PopCap Games is campaigning among employers to introduce a ten minute e-break into their employees’ work days.