Raise your hand, whoever is reading this, if you take breaks during work to watch a YouTube clip or catch up on your Instagram stories. These are usually referred to as small or minor rewards, basically anything that you enjoy doing in small quantities to break the monotony of the day.

Everyone in the Tech Collective virtual office has their hands up, so let’s see how we can discuss this topic and improve on it, based on our experience and others. We conducted a straw poll through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and our personal social media pages to see if we could crowdsource some good responses and here are the best we’ve managed to come up after some vetting and research.

Physical exercise

Working in a stressful environment can have a significant impact on your health because of a bad diet followed by almost no exercise. It is the curse of being an entrepreneur, with long hours and little rest, you tend to put on a few pounds and generally lead a really unhealthy lifestyle.

Here’s how you can change that at least a little bit.

two woman exercising on black yoga mats

Every time you take a break, instead of opening up YouTube or Netflix, use that 20 minutes to do some push-ups, crunches, wall-sits and even a quick jog outside. You’d be amazed at how much 20-30 minutes of exercise a day can change your body, overall health, and wellbeing.

My personal favourite is to take two breaks per work day and fit in a quick jog near lunch and some push-ups and crunches around tea time. While I might not have washboard abs, I’ve lost a couple of kilos and sleep a little better at night.

Group activities for team building

I once worked at a company that used to encourage people to take breaks together and do small activities around the office. From setting up office decorations or walking the office pets, they would have different people spend a few minutes with each other on a regular enough basis that some sort of bond started to grow.

This admittedly is a bit of a risk, especially when it comes to clashing personalities, but aside from a few isolated incidents, most people got to know each other better.

person walking beside Golden retriever on the street

It never hurts to bring the team closer together and have them complete small tasks and projects together.

Incorporate self-improvement

Another favourite around the Tech Collective office is to choose self-improvement goals and use breaks during work to move closer to those goals.

For example, instead of playing a game on my phone for 15 minutes, I’d read up on social media advertising or have a quick Skype call with digital marketing buddy to learn how some of the basics.

Learning new languages (coding or just to speak French) is another interesting self-improvement technique that really works.


What we have found after years of trying to minimise breaks in between work and maintain maximum efficiency is that breaks are essential for you to stay focused for longer periods. How you choose to use those small breaks is up to you, but incorporating a productive element to your breaks is beneficial in the long run.