At least that seems to be the findings of new research.
I’m not that surprised by this. Microbreaks are an important part of staying productive. We simply can’t slog through work as effectively without taking a mental break. I’ve also noticed when I’m working somewhere onsite, there’s a difference in how I feel about what I do after I teach all day. On days when I don’t get to spend the class lunch break by myself, I feel very disconnected, not just from my social world, but also my work world. I don’t really get to check email or any sort of communication all day long. When I get a chance to take a lunch break and look at my phone, I simply feel more on top of things at the end of the training day. I don’t feel the tension to get back to the hotel and deal with email and check in with what is going on in the world. I have a pretty good idea of what I need to respond to, what I need to look at and don’t feel as overwhelmed by it.
Feeling overwhelmed is no way to stay focused and productive. If looking at my phone during breaks helps me avoid that, it’s better for everyone.