An Odd Question About Work Breaks

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JasonR86

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Poll An Odd Question About Work Breaks (221 votes)

Yes 52%
No 48%

Since I've been at a job where I'm in control of my work schedule I've found that the only break I take is one for lunch (which I take 90% of the time unless I'm insanely busy). In my contract I'm allowed to take two 15 minute breaks but I never do. I just don't budget the time into my schedule. So, for you working folk, do you take breaks besides breaks for meals?

Leave it to me to ask the tough questions.

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WalkerTR77

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#1  Edited By WalkerTR77

I work as a dispenser in a pharmacy. We can take a 15 minute break but I prefer to just power through; taking that short of a break just reminds me that I'm working. It is noted as unusual that I don't use my breaks though.

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Drebin_893

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One break in the middle of the day, of about 45 minutes, is perfect for me. Any more between and I'd find it hard to get my teeth sunk into a major project. Without that break in the middle I find I tend to slow down in the last hour of the day or so. As a smoker it helps to have a break every five hours or so.

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csl316

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I take an hour lunch, otherwise I'll get up for coffee or the bathroom or something. I don't budget "breaks" either.

You gotta take up smoking, you'll get like 4 extra breaks a day.

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VierasTalo

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I work in a clean room environment, 12-hour night shifts. Contractually we get three 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch break. Everyone takes 30+ minute breaks each time. So long as everything runs at max capacity, it's cool with everyone. So yeah, I take breaks. Since I manage these people I usually have a bit more to do than they do so I try to stick to the 15 minutes per break.

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eddiephlash

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Even if it's a short walk to get a diet pepsi from the fountain and back, or reply to a thread on the GB forums, it is necessary to take a few minutes from time to time.

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jadegl

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I don't but I really should. I work for State government, so I have a contract where that stuff is baked right in and they really want you to use what you get. However, I just have too much work to do in the day, so taking a break seems like a waste of time, especially since I'm working in an office. I don't even go out for lunch, I eat at my desk most of the time. Again, not supposed to do that, but I just have too many things on my desk to walk away from most of the time.

I would take regular breaks when I worked retail. I would usually take them after having an especially nasty telephone customer or walk in. Take 5 minutes, reset myself and then get back to work. In the winter it would be my time to get another cup of hot cocoa or coffee.

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Hunter5024

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My job is basically an 8 hour break.

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KirkyX

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We've got set breaks at my part-time job, that vary with the length of your shift. So, I get a twenty minute break, roughly in the middle of my six hour shift. It's mainly an opportunity to grab some food and pee.

I'm not going to vote in the poll, as I don't really get any choice either way.

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chrissedoff

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#9  Edited By chrissedoff

Nobody who isn't self-employed should work more than they have to. You're not making extra money, so don't do extra work. When you do, you set an unspoken expectation for your fellow employees that they should do the same and your decision to not take breaks makes a tiny contribution to keeping all of us overworked and underpaid.

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TobbRobb

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Breaks distract me too much. I have trouble starting up work, but I can roll pretty fast when it gets going. Breaks are just disruptive.

But that hasn't stopped me from taking breaks on a lazy day. It just means I'm less effective than normal on two levels.

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JasonR86

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@chrissedoff:

For me, I work as a mental health therapist and feel an obligation to my clients. So I take my hour lunch but I want to spend the rest of the time working. Plus it makes the day go faster for me.

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jArmAhead

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#12  Edited By jArmAhead

Breaks? More like pansie time. I hate taking breaks. I avoided all breaks whenever possible. It breaks momentum, wastes time, gets in the way of getting things done, and is usually less fun than work. Because you're at work. What are you going to do, sit and stare at a wall?

I loved working super long special overnight shifts because they never made us take even lunches, we were paid for the whole night and bought us pizza so I just grabbed a slice and ate while I worked. Few feelings are better than being able to say you went nearly 24 hours between work and a bit of commuting without taking so much as a piss break.

The only time I ever used breaks were when I needed to use the restroom and I couldn't wait till either lunch of when I got off. And a couple of times to help customers, like helping a pregnant women carry a heavy product back to her office a few blocks away.

I once worked with a dumbass that took about 45 minutes of breaks on either side of his lunch break, as well as usually taking an extra long lunch break. He is probably one of the reasons I think people who eek out every bit of break from the day to be intolerable to work around.

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Zirilius

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Always always take your breaks. A company can get sued if a person is found to not be taking there breaks. It's one thing if you are so busy you can't or can't step away during your designated break time but that break time is an entitlement not a privilege. I've had to work at companies that you are required to take your break at a certain time and all work stops regardless of what is going on. My current job is not that case. I take an hour lunch (30 minutes for lunch plus my morning and afternoon break combined) because my day to day is too busy.

Seriously though I can't emphasize enough. Take your breaks. Its important for the company and your morale. If you feel its a waste of time play on your phone. Read a book. There are things to fill the time.

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ottoman673

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My work also offers 2 15's and a half hour lunch. Interestingly, the 15 minute breaks are paid, but the lunch is not. That said, I usually take the lunch and go and get food, and skip the 15's, as they are documented separately from your work time, and those 30 minutes a day add up to 2:30 by the end of the week... So on top of the hours I'm scheduled (I work 7-4 Monday-Friday) I earn time and a half on every hour after 40.

So I'd rather earn the extra 50% for the time I'd spend sitting on my ass, I suppose.

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GaspoweR

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@jasonr86 said:

@chrissedoff:

For me, I work as a mental health therapist and feel an obligation to my clients. So I take my hour lunch but I want to spend the rest of the time working. Plus it makes the day go faster for me.

Yeah, it helps if you have a job that is fulfilling and you can invest your full attention to. If you're working in say like a job that involves a lot of repetitive, clerical work, it can get pretty monotonous.

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Humanity

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#16  Edited By Humanity

I work as a graphic designer so if I'm not watching Quick Looks I'm probably taking a break. Sometimes work gets squeezed in but it's a hectic schedule between the breaks and the GB content.

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StarvingGamer

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I never took breaks until my work made it mandatory.

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FinalDasa

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#18 FinalDasa  Moderator

When I worked for a sandwich shop we almost never got breaks. Unless you worked the longer 8-9 hour shift you didn't even get a lunch break. There were lulls in service that gave us the chance to sit around and that was a "break" but it wasn't official. Most shifts were about 5 hours long and the typical lunch time was our busiest time to work, so even a minute or 2 breather was amazing to have.

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Goldone

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I do a lot of agency work, so I have lunch and that's it. I tend not to take breaks because I never stick around that long so it seems pointless, I'd rather the agency get a good report on my work than get to know the people who actually work there. The last place they sent me I had a 20 minute break once an hour and it was maddening.

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selfconfessedcynic

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Yup! I frequently knock off early to go for a walk or run, but then that's encouraged where I work.

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YI_Orange

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I work a basic retail job that gives a paid 15 every 4 hours and an unpaid 30 every 6 hours. I always take my half because I have to, but the 15s completely depend on the day. Sometimes I'm not feeling it and just want to spend as little time working as possible, sometimes there's just not much to do. Other times I'll skip my 15s because if skipping the break is the difference between going home earlier or not then I will absolutely choose to go home 15 minutes earlier. Other times I know taking a break will kill the momentum and I'll realize how much retail sucks and not wanna do anything for the rest of the day. It's all about going home as soon as possible and mitigating misery.

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Rebel_Scum

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My contract says we can go for a 10 minute walk every hour. No one does that though. Maybe one walk in the morning or afternoon but its so goddamn busy trying to get projects over the line that no one goes for a walk.

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GERALTITUDE

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I'm in software development, so "breaks" ain't shit here.

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ElixirBronze

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As a programmer, you need those 15 mins twice a day not looking at code to keep your sanity in check.

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mbdoeden

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One hour lunch, always, but as for the two 15 minute breaks I am entitled to, I usually just let them come organically. Meaning, it doesn't matter if I take one or not it depends on the day/mood/etc. I also work from home so there's no one breathing down my neck about it.

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cornbredx

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I wouldn't, but I smoke. I do work from home, but I don't smoke in the house so somedays I need breaks just so I can smoke occasionally. I don't consider my break times excessive (generally 5 minutes or less) or whatever, though. When I smoked in the apartment I used to live in, though, I didn't take breaks at all. This caused me to have massive depression and anxiety which made me sick all the time from my job.

Lunch, though, I always take. It's mandatory even though my old boss didn't like it.

I don't work there anymore, though.

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Giantstalker

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My first enlisted contract with the Army, I was run ragged for nearly four years straight - the only way to get a break was to hide

Second contract in, now it's basically a giant break from eight to four only occasionally punctuated by work. Obviously exercises are different, but still this job is weird as hell

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mosespippy

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Nope. When I worked at various different places that made me take my legally required one hour meal break I hated having to not work. I certainly wasn't going to take my 15 minute breaks. I don't like being at work and not working. When I worked at places that were too cheap to provide said legally required breaks, I fucking hated that it wasn't an option, even if I wasn't going to use them. I didn't stick around at those jobs for very long.

My current job is a bit crazy at times. This summer I worked 62 hours in 4 days standing in the sun. Then I had five weeks off. I didn't take a meal break on my 14+ hour days because that would have just made the days longer. Most of my work in the past two weeks has had 2+ hour long breaks because I'm in a union and we get 4 hours no matter how little work there is.

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rorie

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A 15 minute break has never really seemed like enough time to really relax; I just wind up anxious and looking at the clock until I get back to work. But when I was in a standing job it's nice to be able to sit down for a bit.

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hatking

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I'll occasionally get up and go walk around the office, maybe go grab a beer and hang out on the balcony for a bit. But generally speaking I only take my lunch break.

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Superkenon

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The only break I take is maybe when I eat.

At my desk where I continue to work while doing so ahahahahaha

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Jams

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@rorie said:

A 15 minute break has never really seemed like enough time to really relax; I just wind up anxious and looking at the clock until I get back to work. But when I was in a standing job it's nice to be able to sit down for a bit.

I think it's really there for a shit break at a job that you can't just leave at any time. Something like working sales at a retail store. "I'm gonna take my 15" and really mean, "I really need to take a shit, watch my spot".

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wrecks

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Working for myself, my schedule is not normal in anyway. Breaks are kind of built in and around my daily routine. I need them and believe they are actually quite important if you work in a creative field.

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Ben_H

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We are required to at my job and we get in trouble if we don't. We're all quite close so we usually go as a group and talk while having a quick snack or cup of coffee.

At a desk job I would be far less likely to take a break but at a job where I am on my feet all day, a break is nice. Especially to rest my back as it gets stiff after a while.

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Schmollian

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#35  Edited By Schmollian

I work at a job where the 15 minute break is mandatory.

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goreyfantod

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I work as a cook in a privately owned restaurant in a vacation resort town.

No one I know outside of municipal and Post Office employees gets anything resembling a break apart from trips to the bathroom. The restaurant I work in now allows for a 'family meal' once during the day and once in the evening before dinner service starts, so people do take time to shovel food into their gullets, but there's tension around that I won't go into here. Prior to this job, I worked in a restaurant for twelve years where even eating was monitored - it was an open kitchen, so staff were only allowed to eat out of sight of customers before or after the restaurant was open for service.

I used to run outside & smoke a cigarette once every couple of hours or so, but since I quit smoking I don't even do that anymore.

The food service industry sucks.

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Slag

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Nope, usually skip lunch too.

I will slow my pace down occasionally though. Definitely got high gear and low gear

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Spoonman671

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#38  Edited By Spoonman671

I work with family, so there are no breaks... or benefits... or pay

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deactivated-62f93c42ce57b

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we are supossed to be on a strict 15/30/15 break schedule as per company policy. the 30 is the lunch break. but the unspoken understood proceedure is 3 breaks at 45 mins a piece. we used to pull hour ons hours offs. no complaints here.

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Akyho

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#40  Edited By Akyho

Much like the sound everyone else when I am in work I take my lunch and there is no arguments I am having my lunch be it 30mins or 1hr I take it.

Breaks on the other hand I find disruptive much like many say, however I am usualy the one holding the place down from day in day out. I am not doing extra work buuuuut when it comes to trying to get someone to cover for me it can take 15 mins of me running around and then another 15 for folks to sort themselves out to cover so I can go ona break...meaning It been all a hassle and more work to not do work for 15 minutes.

So I only take breaks if there is a schedule or work it with my manager to combine my breaks with my lunch and just have a longer lunch as I also do like to get out of work either to get lunch or eat outside, because if I stay around work for lunch I am just gonna get roped into work once I do not have my mouth full and not get the little bit of down time to let my brain freshen up for the later half of the day.

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helvetica

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Yep! It's a great chance to recharge for a bit. I do better work when I step away and then come back to it.

We are a culture of workaholics, and it's not healthy. I can go at 110%, but not all the time; I feel very lucky to have a boss that understands that.

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PimblyCharles

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I am fortunate to work at a University in NY which allows for as many breaks as you want as long as the work is done on time and well. It's pretty great to be encouraged to take breaks.

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TehBuLL

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I work hard. I play hard. That means I take lots of breaks to decompress and reflect. Then right back in.

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Humanity

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As a person that used to loosely work in HR - take your breaks you jerks!

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Sergio

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#45  Edited By Sergio

Yes. If you count waiting for something to build or a test to finish. Basically whenever I'm waiting on something to progress and I can't multitask, e.g. can't fix this bug while I'm testing the fix for this other one.

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ZolRoyce

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Breaks? More like pansie time.

HAH, I like you.

Most of the work I tend to do revolves around physical activity, lifting stuff, building stuff etc, and I hate taking breaks while my body is physically engaged, because the minute I do my muscles go into 'oh? We're stopping are we? Time to feel sore!" But if I work right through until the job is done then it doesn't bother me.

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Moth_Pope

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#47  Edited By Moth_Pope

I have a 30 minute lunch break and that's it. Too busy otherwise really for other dedicated breaks. It suits me ok though.

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defaultprophet

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I don't and I get annoyed at people who take smoke breaks even though I know it's my own fault for not just taking them too.

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Grillbar

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#49  Edited By Grillbar

i got 2 breaks a day. i work from 7-16 and my first break is 15min at around 9 and at 12 i have my lunch break and thats 30min.
and i always take them because i dont plan on working for free in my breaks and i cant get overtime for the time i spend working during my breaks. i do shift my breaks depending on what im working on.
and the allotted time i have is a what im entitled to by law.

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Counterclockwork87

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Technically 1 hour lunch break for me and I can leave whenever I want. I can take off for any other break I want to as well. I work in the middle of NYC working in television so during down periods there's too much of the city to not explore. When you're in NYC you're wasting your life not going out during break time and experiencing the world. I have an awesome job in that I can work at my own pace..being forced to work a certain schedule and get a lame 15 minutes sounds like a nightmare and no place for creative thought.