Schedule Breaks from Work? There’s a Good Chance You Get Interrupted Anyway


When working remotely and having to manage your own time, it is not uncommon for breaks to be overlooked. A new survey by the online scheduling platform Doodle confirms the US workforce’s collective neglect of breaks.

72% of US employees admit to feeling less burnt out by blocking their calendars. Despite this, only 14% of workers say they actually enjoy their scheduled breaks without interruption.

This was the finding of Doodle’s ‘The Time Blocking Report’, which shows how time management can ease burnout and increase productivity.

The report surveyed more than 1,000 full-time, remote working employees. It was conducted in April 2021.

Importance of Breaks and Time Management

Another key finding of the research is that 83% of remote workers say they get more work done when they reserve time to focus.

The report’s unveilings are important to businesses that are operating work remotely as they reiterate the importance of time management. With only 14% of workers taking breaks without interruption, the research begs the question – how can companies better support their employees working from home or transitioning back to hybrid work models?

Renato Profico, CEO of Doodle, says, “Burnout and extended work days have haunted employees since corporate America began working remotely.

“Companies have searched for countless tools to help their teams manage their days, but they tend to underestimate the power of something everyone uses: calendars. Our research shows how an action as simple as blocking time off can help employees feel refreshed and become more productive and efficient.”

Benefits of ‘Meeting-Free’ Days

One way of garnering greater productivity and efficiency in the modern world of remote work is to have days that are free of meetings.

Doodle’s research found that more than 58% of working Americans report their companies have called for ‘meetingless’ days. During these days, no internal or client-faced meetings are scheduled. Around 55% of employees have these days weekly. Less than a third (30%) have meeting-free days on a monthly basis.

Increased Wellbeing

By implementing and maintaining time blocking techniques such as meeting-free days, team members can have more ‘breathing space’ to manage their day as they need. For example, projects can be finished, family matters can be taken care of, or wellbeing can be boosting by going for a walk or enjoying greater ‘me time.’

With productivity and wellbeing enhanced, it is within small businesses’ interest to prioritize supporting employees working remotely to maintain optimal time-management strategies. Such support may come through having regular meeting-free days, or informing members of staff of the benefits of taking regular, distraction-free breaks.

Image: Depositphotos

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".