M9 (Fraser)

What, if any, has been your experience with the Hawthorne effect on a job?

I am currently an intern with the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities and have been pleasantly surprised by the way the state treats their employees. During a normal work day, we get two fifteen minute breaks and an hour lunch break. These breaks allow us to refresh our minds and come back focused. Research shows that a 15-20 minute break increases focus and energy levels. The person is more productive, creative, and efficient with breaks throughout the day than not. Even the smallest break away from one’s screen or a moment of distraction can reenergize the brain (Harness, 2013). I have yet to experience a job without breaks, but I do know that I can’t handle a brain overload. When I have long homework days during the weekend, I take a lap around the building every hour. The break gives my brain time to retain the previous information and clear up for more. The breaks on paper may seem unproductive at a corporate level, but humans aren’t machines and they benefit greatly from workplace changes that cater to human needs.

1) Describe a supervisor who inspired and motivated you — what were their characteristics or actions that made such a positive impact?

I haven’t had a great or poor supervisor. Most of my jobs have consisted of independent work and general supervision. I haven’t needed much from them; and as long as I did my job, they didn’t need much from me. So far, the supervisors I have worked under have cared about my needs and have been supportive of my plans. They listen to my ideas and give me a chance to better the workplace. I’ve been given raises due to my work initiative and ability to find something beneficial to do even during down times. I think the greatest supervisors are the ones who have the experience to teach you, but also are able to stand on equal grounds with you. The supervisors who see you more than just a worker and understand that life throws curve balls, are the ones who have employees that want to come back to work everyday and work hard. The jobs I have had so far are seasonal with a lot of turnover. Developing a relationship is hard, but I leave the job on good terms and always receive a great reference from previous employers. I think the relationship is a two way street and you have to give back what you want to receive.


Harness, Jill. “The Importance of Breaks At Work.’ Lifehack, Lifehack, 9 June 2013, www.lifehack.org/articles/work/the-importance-breaks-work.html.