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Coffee breaks are an important part of workplace culture as they provide a crucial coping mechanism for stressful work, according to new research from Symbolic Interaction. A group of public workers in Denmark were studied after a large-scale merger. The study found that the stress from their jobs and the merger was relieved by forming "communities of coping" during coffee breaks with coworkers.
These communities allowed for social interaction with fellow employees, allowing them to share both professional opinions and personal frustrations with their work. However, the study also found that these communities were difficult for a newcomer to enter due to their informal nature.
"Coffee breaks should not be considered a 'waste' of productivity," said Dr. Pernille Stroebaek from the University of Copenhagen. "Coffee breaks have important social, and potentially monetary, value for organizations. Coffee breaks should be treated as communal practices that allow communities of coping to develop."
Symbolic Interaction - Article first published online: 4 SEP 2013 DOI: 10.1002/symb.76
Author: Pernille S. Stroebaek
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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