HR Strange But True!
May 29, 2008

A new study of British businesses claims that employers should actively encourage workers to take 10-minute "e-breaks" to increase overall productivity levels, rather than banning these activities. Before you start encouraging, make sure you see who conducted the study.

The Pop.Cap Break Report 2008 ( studied different types of computer breaks and their effect on workplace morale, stress reduction, and productivity in businesses across the United Kingdom and found that five were most beneficial:

  1. Puzzle and casual computer games. Ten minutes of playing online computer games had the most positive benefits for employees in reducing tension, nervousness and anxiety, as well as boosting mental agility and self-confidence.
  2. Social networking sites. The study says that "interpersonal e-breaks" increase employees' self-assurance and levels of content.
  3. Online shopping. Online retail therapy gives workers a "quick fix" of happiness.
  4. General Web browsing. While relaxed Internet surfing has no goals, it "fulfills individuals' need for cognition, caters to their intellectual curiosity, and stimulates their thirst for knowledge" says the study.
  5. Life administration. Showing the best results among female employees, this type of e-break (online banking, personal research, making appointments, etc.) "frees employees' minds from administrative concerns, as well as freeing time up from work."

HR Strange but True! caveat: The worldwide company conducting this study owns PopCap Games, which produces and licenses "casual" games, including the popular Bejeweled®, as well as mobile devices, game consoles, Web Portals, and entertainment systems.

Source: Company Press Release

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