A new study indicates that one of the keys to being more productive and happier during the workday may be to take short smartphone breaks.
Sooyeol Kim, a doctoral student in psychological sciences at Kansas State University, headed a team that studied 72 full-time employees in various industries and discovered a smartphone microbreak can be beneficial for both the worker and the organization.
The participants installed an app on their smartphones that measured phone usage during work hours. The app also divided the usage into categories such as entertainment, which included games, or social media, which included Facebook and Twitter.
At the end of each workday, the participants recorded their perceived well-being. "By interacting with friends or family members through a smartphone or by playing a short game, we found that employees can recover from some of their stress to refresh their minds and take a break," Kim said.
Kim notes that smartphone microbreaks are similar to more traditional microbreaks, such as getting a cup of coffee and chatting with co-workers. Kim says all microbreaks are important because they help employees cope with the demands of the workplace.