Recovery during the working day – breaks, variety and support from the community

Taking a break is the most obvious way to recover and rest during the day. Especially in physically strenuous work, it is important to let the body slow down and cool off. On the other hand, if the work demands your observation skills, memory, powers of deduction and empathy, it can be more efficient to avoid monotonous tasks and add some variety to your day than to take a physical break.

If your working day is full of meetings and you become desensitised to never finishing your other duties, you should consider revamping your work schedule and routine. This helps you prepare for the tasks you need to complete after your meetings. Good time management allows you to see how many meetings you can realistically fit in one day – usually no more than four.

If your working day feels monotonous in any other way, try to find a good counterbalance for your current routine and add bright drops of colour to the dark canvas of your everyday working life. Factors that can make your day tedious include working alone, time-consuming search for information and being constantly available to customers. If you find it difficult to identify your stress factor, talk to your colleagues or consult an occupational psychologist and share your experience.

When it comes to recovery during the working day, it is important to pace your work and divide your day into spells of no more than 90 minutes, between which your brain tunes in to another channel. For example, if you start your day with creative writing, your next task could be a Teams meeting with your colleagues. Or, if you start by leading a meeting, you should have a more passive role during the next appointment.

 

Effective task pairs include:

  • social cooperation with other people and immersing yourself in your own work
  • physically active work and sitting down quietly
  • work that demands great precision and more free thinking with broader lines.

In addition to job variety, recovery is supported by a sense of achievement, progress or success. The next time you have a remote or in-person meeting with your team, think about your interaction: do you support the joint recovery and recharging of the team or inspire or console each other as necessary? At the end of the meeting, you can discuss together which mental resources were replenished during the meeting.

 

 

Susanna Paarlahti

Service Manager, Occupational Psychology

 

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