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Coworkers Get More Than Caffeine When They Gather Around The Coffeemaker

Far from being a waste of precious time and providing more benefits than just a jolt of caffeine, employee mental health breaks at work can be a key driver of Colorado employee productivity, happiness, and job satisfaction.

Yes, getting coffee (or tea, or water, or a quick snack) is what drives employees to the break room or office kitchen. But what keeps them thereafter their mug fills up is the company of their colleagues. Taking small coffee breaks provides the chance to catch up, decompress, and interact in a more relaxed and informal way. These mental health breaks offer a connection with others instead of spending most of the day connected to a screen.

Rather than being a distraction that keeps people from doing their jobs, employee coffee breaks serve a basic human need for interaction and socialization. Colorado coworkers who spend some time around the coffee maker or water cooler talking, laughing, and even complaining are more likely to stay at a company and work harder because of the sustaining connections that such interactions create.

Here are four reasons why companies should prioritize, rather than discourage, employee mental health breaks at work.

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Employee Health and Productivity

Humans Are Social Creatures

As humans, we crave connection with others. The lack of personal, face-to-face interactions has been one of the hardest aspects of the pandemic. As we have all learned the hard way, Zoom calls, emails, and Slack messages are no substitute for real, in-person, three-dimensional interaction.

Shooting the breeze with your fellow Coloradoans while sitting around a table, even for five minutes, proves much more gratifying and fulfilling than even twice the amount of time staring at faces in little boxes on your computer screen.

Grabbing a cup of coffee in the breakroom makes the workday more pleasant and enhances colleagues’ sense of belonging. Socializing during coffee breaks in the office simply makes life better for everyone while offering a perfect avenue for mental health breaks at work.

Employee Mental Breaks at Work Are a Great Way to Share Institutional Knowledge

Your company may have the most detailed employee handbook in the world. Your office may have a robust and informative internal communications program that keeps your workforce up to date about the latest events, policies, and issues. But not everything that happens in your workplace makes its way into handbooks, newsletters, and emails.

When employees get together for a coffee break, they don’t just talk about their kids, the shows they’re binge-watching or a great new restaurant they discovered. They discuss projects they’re working on or clients they’re working with. They exchange ideas and perspectives about new developments and learn about other aspects of the business beyond their department or job responsibilities.

In this way, employee coffee breaks act almost like a natural employee continuing education program. These mental health breaks at work facilitate an organic sharing of institutional knowledge that can help Colorado workers increase their understanding of their roles and job responsibilities and how they fit into the larger scheme of things.

Onboarding and Integrating New Hires

Anyone who has ever had a first day on the job at a new company knows that it can be a bit scary and lonely. Someone takes you to your new workspace, provides you with passwords and instructions to set up your IT, shows you where to find the restroom, and wishes you all the best. But it isn’t until others say hi and introduce themselves that you start to feel even remotely comfortable and at home.

Socializing at coffee breaks with new employees who enter a busy and hectic work environment provides a great way to get them used to their new surroundings. Those five to ten minutes in the breakroom will help them feel welcome and provide them with useful information about how things work around the office. When current employees reach out to their new team members, these veterans become a valuable, if informal, part of the onboarding process by serving as resources when new hires have questions or need guidance.

Encouraging Teamwork

Mental health breaks at work also can facilitate increased team cohesion and build trust between coworkers. Teams that work well together do so because they regularly communicate, are comfortable asking questions or giving advice, and understand what makes their fellow teammates tick. Employee coffee breaks promote team spirit and bonding and provide opportunities for positive reinforcement, support, and encouragement.

Call Preferred Insurance Today For Help With Your Company’s Health Insurance Needs

Another vital part of mental health for employees lies with good health insurance and finding the right company to get you the right plan. Locally owned and operated, Preferred Insurance works hand-in-hand with small businesses throughout Colorado to select and implement group health insurance plans that provide their employees with the best benefits at the most affordable rates.

Contact Preferred Insurance today to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your small business health insurance needs. We’ll even buy you a cup of coffee.