Is a Cup of Coffee or a Five-Minute Break Better for Productivity?

Warehouse work is rewarding, but it can be exhausting. When the mid-afternoon hour hits, your energy levels plummet. Since taking a nap isn’t an option, you’re forced to choose between two things — get a cup of coffee or take a five-minute break.

In theory, it seems like either route would promote productivity, but generally speaking, that isn’t the case. As one of the busiest temp agencies in the Lehigh Valley, HTSS, Inc. decided to get to the bottom of this issue, to make sure our team is making the right choice.

Is a Cup of Coffee or a Five-Minute Break Better for Productivity?

Chances are, you didn’t have to think very long to decide whether coffee or a short break will give you more energy. If you’re really dedicated to your stance, you probably won’t change it, but researchers have given this topic much thought.

Results of a study conducted by Charlotte Fritz were highlighted in “Coffee Breaks Don’t Boost Productivity After All,” an article published by the Harvard Business Review. Fritz and her team actually found that neither activity is a guaranteed energy boost, but the five-minute break is definitely the better choice.

The research team discovered that when workers took a break for a few minutes to focus on a non-work-related task — i.e., getting a drink of water, calling a relative or going to the bathroom — their energy levels had no noticeable change. However certain activities — i.e., listening to music and making weekend plans — actually caused people to be less productive when they returned to work.

A burst of energy was only revealed when people spent their short break doing something related to work — i.e., making a to-do list, complimenting a colleague or helping a team member. Therefore, the best way to get a jolt of energy when you’re feeling sluggish is to put the task you’re working on to rest for a few minutes, but occupy your downtime with a job-related activity.

Whether you’re a Lehigh Valley area employer looking for top warehouse talent or a job seeker ready for a fresh challenge, HTSS, Inc. is here to assist. Get in touch today to discuss your needs!

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