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posted on 31 March 2016

Swedish-style Coffee Breaks Might Boost Productivity

by Felix Richter,

-- this post authored by Dyfed Loesche

Some argue that working long hours without breaks is the surest way to kill off staff productivity.

There are studies pointing in this direction. While some might deride these as crypto-scientific excuses for slacking, it's really about using resources efficiently. And it seems increased productivity at the workplace comes with short breaks.

Sweden is one of the places on earth where employees are least stressed out and productivity is high even though working overtime is rare, according to the OECD. (Check out the below chart to see who's doing least and most overtime). This might also have to do with the Swedish culture promoting simple feel good techniques to make working a more amicable experience, as the World Economic Forum explains. All it takes is a coffee, maybe a baked good to go with it, and of course colleagues to converse with.

This sums up the Swedish custom called fika. Derived from the Swedish word for coffee (kaffe), it means as much as "to have coffee". Albeit you don't necessarily have to have coffee to have a fika, you can have tea or any other drink of your choosing. However, the trick consists of not getting a coffee (or other drink) and taking it back to your desk, but to actually have a proper little break and converse with colleagues.

Who's working overtime?

Infographic: Swedish-style coffee breaks might boost productivity | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista.

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