Think Lunch Breaks Aren’t Necessary? Think Again

Blues Perspectives

| 3 min read

Taking a break for lunch has become a bit of a taboo in many offices. Employees have overloaded workloads and want to be seen as diligent workers who are willing to put in the time to get things done. As a result, they often choose to work through lunch and just eat at their desks instead of leaving the office for a bit.
According to Forbes, over 40% of workers are less likely to take a lunch than they were last year, and almost half skip lunch at least once a week. Over 60% of workers surveyed said if they take a lunch break, it cannot be used for eating.
Although it may not seem like a big deal for your employees to work nonstop throughout the day, this kind of behavior hurts your organization more than it helps. What’s the harm in missing lunch?

Skipping lunch lowers productivity

Just like your phone needs to be recharged to work well, your body needs breaks to continue operating at a high level. If you try to push yourself through lunch, you’ll have a tougher time in the afternoon getting through your to-do list. According to 2021 research, giving your brain time off for lunch restores your energy and helps you come back to work focused, refreshed and productive.

Skipping lunch hurts physical health

Sitting at your desk for hours on end can increase risk for obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and more. Deciding to take a short walk at lunchtime (as well as little walks around the office throughout the day) can do a lot to counteract those risks. An extra bonus is that a noon walk can improve your mood and help you handle stress better when you’re back at the office.

Skipping lunch increases risk of burnout

Work can be incredibly stressful and job demands can weigh heavily on you. If you rarely have time to yourself, you’ll become dissatisfied and unenthusiastic about your job—a situation known as burnout. It can be tough to come back from that point, so it’s worth taking daily mental health breaks daily. No matter how much research there is encouraging employees to take lunch breaks, they won’t if the office culture doesn’t encourage it.
Try not to schedule lunchtime meetings or conference calls, make sure managers set an example by getting out of the office at lunchtime and if you see employees working with a half-eaten sandwich on their desk, mention that it’s a beautiful day outside and that they should take a quick walk and enjoy it.

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