A new study from Microsoft’s Human Factors Lab explains why back-to-back virtual meetings drain us and how important a short 10 minute break can be to alleviate build-up of stress.

The study compared the brainwaves of 14 participants who attended 4 x 30 minute back-to-back virtual meetings on one day and 4 x 30 minute virtual meetings with a 10 minute meditation break in between on another day. The brainwaves data was definitive. Back-to-back virtual meetings lead to an accumulation of stress and decreased the ability to focus but taking a 10 minute break allowed participants to start their next meeting, and the next two after that in a more relaxed state.

If back-to-back meetings have become the norm for you it is likely to be affecting your focus, engagement and overall well being. How can you build breaks into your working day?