50% of us work through our lunch break on a regular basis. The ‘lunch’ part often takes place, but the ‘break’ does not.
This is mainly a result of a culture of guilt whereby we feel under pressure from either our bosses or colleagues to work through our lunch hour. Many of us operate under the common misconception that by working through lunch we are being productive and setting a good example.
Most of us have been there, we're having a bad day, look at the clock and realise it's 12pm, instead of wrapping up whatever it is we were doing, we grab a sandwich or 'Mug shot' and we munch whilst we work. We do this in the hope that we'll get more, take the pressure off the other guys in the office, keep our momentum up. Lets be honest, we work through our break, it gets to three o'clock and we REALLY start to regret not taking a breather when we had the chance.
I'm a strong believing that we aren’t able to operate at full capacity for the remainder of the day unless we allow our brain some time to recharge. Giving up your lunch break is a sure way to subject yourself to the 3pm wall of fatigue.
It’s time to claim back the lunch break. Here are just some of the multiple benefits:
Sitting still for too long is bad for our health. The evidence is well documented, and is ready available on the internet.
So, get up from your desk, go for a walk, have a stretch and (if possible) enjoy the sunshine. If our body’s aching then our mind is unlikely to be at peak performance either. Just distracting your mind for half an hour in the middle of the day can have a profound effect on your productivity that afternoon.
Bonding with colleagues
It pays to have as many allies as possible in the workplace, and the lunch hour is a great time to find some. Going for lunch with colleagues is also a great way to interact with people you otherwise communicate with rarely or only ever speak about work with. Increase your overall job satisfaction by developing new working relationships, and cementing current ones.
Be more productive
Allowing your brain to cool off for a period goes a long way to increasing your overall productivity. Stepping away from your desk to get away from a tricky assignment can help you gain perspective on that piece of work, allowing you to return to the desk with almost a fresh pair of eyes.
The quality of work produced by those hunched over their desk for ten hours a day is unlikely to be anywhere near that of those who have returned to the office after a short break, feeling reinvigorated and refresh.
You’ll enjoy a greater work-life balance
Don’t feel guilty about using your lunch break to return that item of clothing or make a trip to the bank. This helps distract the mind from work and leads to a much happier work-life balance – which is of course key to your job satisfaction.
A final thought
If you’re feeling constantly frustrated and under pressure at work then you would certainly benefit from taking advantage of your daily lunch break. Work hard outside of your lunch hour, of course, but exerting yourself constantly for ten hours a day is a well-worn route to exhaustion.
Posted 20th August 2015