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How to run a 10-minute Pause Space

When you run a pause space make sure you have the 10-minute Pause Space script in front of you. It can be found in the Notes area and you can download it for use offline.

The script is the structure that keeps the 10 minutes running to time and feeling safe. Recommendations are that these spaces are run in work time and people shouldn’t have to stay late to join a 10-minute Pause Space. Some people use these at the start of their shift/workday, and others to check out just before the shift/workday ends. Remember too that they are optional. Encourage people to join but don’t force them or make them feel bad if they don’t want to. The person running the session can join in the pairs work if the group is an odd number. Try running them with small groups of 6 or 7 people to start with. When you become more confident a group of up to 12 might feel okay.


This 10-minute Pause Space has been designed for everyone to benefit from. Please think about who might not normally be invited into support spaces and ensure that no one in your team is left out. Please welcome all that attend, even/especially those that are running late. Mixed groups are fine and are great in fact. This is a human space; it doesn’t matter what your role is called.


When people stop and take a moment in a busy and pressured environment, it is not uncommon for some to release feelings or shed the odd tear. This is normal. Having tissues to hand for comfort is lovely, but not to encourage anyone to stop their tears.


Try and find a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle if possible. This 10-minute Pause Space has been designed to be used in any setting though. Chairs are great, but not crucial.

Infection Control

Please observe agreed infection-control advice and do not invite staff into zones of higher infection risk, especially if it is not their normal working environment. If in doubt, keep to the ‘two-metre distance apart from everyone’ policy, where this is appropriate and possible. 

Virtual use

Ideally, 10-minute Pause Spaces are run face to face, but they can be run virtually using a platform such as Zoom, which provides virtual breakaway ‘rooms’ for pairs work. More preparation time is required for this, but people quickly get used to using new platforms.

Let’s look at each section of the pause space. Imagine using it in your team or practice it out loud before moving on to the next section...

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