Break Etiquette – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Meeting Etiquette Glossary

What is Break Etiquette?

Break etiquette refers to the proper manners and behaviors associated with taking breaks during meetings or other professional settings. It involves respecting the time and needs of others while also ensuring that you are taking care of your own well-being. Break etiquette helps to maintain a productive and respectful atmosphere during meetings.

Why is Break Etiquette Important in Meetings?

Break etiquette is important in meetings for several reasons. Firstly, taking breaks allows participants to recharge and refocus, leading to increased productivity and engagement. Additionally, respecting break times shows consideration for others’ time and schedules. Proper break etiquette also helps to create a positive and professional atmosphere during meetings, fostering better communication and collaboration among participants.

How to Properly Take Breaks During Meetings

When taking breaks during meetings, it is important to follow these guidelines to ensure proper break etiquette:
1. Be mindful of the scheduled break times and return promptly.
2. Use break times to refresh and recharge, avoid engaging in distracting activities.
3. Respect others’ need for breaks and avoid disrupting their break time.
4. Use breaks as an opportunity to network and build relationships with other participants.
5. Stay hydrated and nourished during breaks to maintain focus and energy.

What are Common Break Etiquette Mistakes to Avoid?

There are several common break etiquette mistakes that should be avoided during meetings:
1. Taking excessively long breaks or returning late from breaks.
2. Engaging in distracting activities such as checking emails or making phone calls during breaks.
3. Disrupting others’ break time by engaging in loud or disruptive behavior.
4. Failing to respect the scheduled break times and extending breaks without consideration for others.
5. Neglecting personal hygiene or appearance during breaks, which can be off-putting to others.

How to Handle Breaks in Virtual Meetings

In virtual meetings, break etiquette is just as important as in-person meetings. Here are some tips for handling breaks in virtual meetings:
1. Communicate break times clearly at the beginning of the meeting and remind participants when it is time for a break.
2. Encourage participants to turn off their cameras and mute their microphones during breaks to maintain privacy.
3. Provide guidelines for appropriate break activities, such as stretching or grabbing a snack, to keep participants engaged and focused.
4. Use breakout rooms for smaller group discussions during breaks to encourage networking and collaboration.
5. Monitor break times and gently remind participants to return to the meeting promptly to avoid delays.

How to Encourage Break Etiquette in a Meeting

To encourage break etiquette in a meeting, consider implementing the following strategies:
1. Set clear expectations for break times and durations at the beginning of the meeting.
2. Lead by example by taking breaks at the scheduled times and returning promptly.
3. Provide opportunities for participants to network and socialize during breaks to build relationships and camaraderie.
4. Remind participants of the importance of breaks for productivity and well-being.
5. Encourage open communication about break etiquette and address any concerns or issues that arise during breaks.

In conclusion, break etiquette plays a crucial role in maintaining a productive and respectful atmosphere during meetings. By following proper break etiquette guidelines and avoiding common mistakes, participants can ensure that breaks are used effectively to recharge and refocus. Whether in-person or virtual, break etiquette is essential for fostering positive communication and collaboration among meeting participants.