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A “Culture of Health” at San Mateo County includes a supportive work environment that encourages all employees to be physically active during the workday and to have time to relax, refresh and re-focus.

The County supports and encourages employees to take daily work breaks.

  • Discuss your work schedule with your supervisor and ensure that your are both in agreement about when and how Work Breaks are to be taken. Please be considerate of your co-workers and be gone only as long as your Work Break allows. 
  • If you are a supervisor, create a supportive structure that ensures work breaks are given to those who want them. See Employee Relations Bulletin #19 for guidelines. 

Individual and Organizational Benefits:

  • Studies report that taking regular breaks during the work day can improve productivity and mental acuity, reduce fatigue, relieve joint or muscle pain, and increase overall alertness.
  • Breaks keep us from getting bored and unforced, resulting in fewer errors and miscalculations. There’s also less likelihood of getting injured because repetitive work ceases for a period of time;
  • Breaks help us retain information and make connections. Problem solving and creative breakthroughs actually increase when we step away for a while from problems or projects (Google “diffuse mode thinking”);
  • Breaks allow us to re-assess our work and stay on track. A brief intermission forces you to take a few seconds to re-connect with your goals/ objective/ purpose and be reminded of the “bigger picture”.