Is “Lunch Hour” the Biggest Myth of Office Life?
It’s no big surprise to anyone that I am a staunch advocate of the hour lunch break. And while I make sure to take my full 60 minutes at least 3 days a week (a few days I will bring my lunch for health and money sake), there is no question that many of my co-workers *never* take their full lunch hour. Like so many in Midtown, they will run down to the nearest deli (in our case, Metro), and bring their boring salad or sandwich back up to their desk, and eat it while checking email or doing work.
This phenomenom was written about on MSNBC.com on Monday:
About 55 percent of workers take a half hour or less for their lunch breaks… and women, who are forever trying to prove themselves in the work world, are not surprisingly more likely to take shorter lunch breaks than men.
Many workplace experts suspect even those workers who are allotted a half hour for lunch, often end up never leaving their desks. The move to shorter or non-existent lunches is in some cases self-imposed.
There are plenty of reasons why not to take a lunch break. You want to get ahead by showing your boss how good an employee you are, or maybe there’s just not enough time in the day to finish all your work. I know in some offices there can be tremendous peer pressure if nobody is taking their lunch break. You don’t want to seem like the one lazy bum who actually eats!
But in truth, we need our lunch break. If I don’t eat by 12:30, I will pass out… I think. I’ve never actually tested the theory, since I’m usually chowing down by 12:01. But more than the threat of malnutrition, you just need to get out of the office for a bit. And apparently, taking that hour off, may make you *more* productive. Some justification for your lunch break, after the jump…
According to the same article:
… it turns out giving up your lunch break could actually diminish your productivity, causing you to end up putting in more hours in the long run, not to mention what it does for your health and well being. “Your brain needs to rest. Sometimes, in order to concentrate you have to think about something different, get away from the problem.”
Feel free to print that one out and give it to your boss…