Laura Archer, a London working recently released her book, Gone For Lunch: 52 Things To Do On Your Lunch. Through her research for this book she stumbled upon the grim truth about eating lunch at your desk daily.
Laura realised that if you don’t take a lunch break, based on a normal working day, you miss out on a staggering 30-days of annual leave a year and five hours of ME time each week.
If those statistics aren’t enough cause to tear you away from your desk then maybe these are………
Your Productivity Will Improve
When you are faced with impending deadlines and meetings, you may feel that leaving your desk will only slow you down more. However, masses of research have shown that regular breaks better your work and productivity. Your lunch break is in fact an allocated hour, which you have been granted each day to go and do as you wish. Embrace this, and your work will thank you for it when that 3 o’clock slump hits.
Lorraine Shine, Recruitment Manager with Allen Recruitment and Qualified Career, Personal & Executive Coach says, “I think it is very important to at least get away from your desk and PC screen each day and probably even more-so if you are very busy at work, as you will come back hopefully refreshed and re-energized,”
Your Work Colleagues Can Help
Sometimes when you finally get that hour to yourself, you may consider that getting away from your colleagues is the best thing to clear your mind. However, just like stretching your legs on your lunch-break, chatting with a work friend can be very beneficial.
Brian Wansink, the director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, told the New York Times that studies find work satisfaction is increased when you spend time with your work colleagues on your lunch break.
Confirming Brain Wansink thoughts, Lorraine said “I can understand why people may want to get out of the office on their own to switch off from work conversations and get some ‘down time’. Having said that I think that team lunches and spending some time with colleagues at lunch time can be key to developing positive relationships with colleagues and often it’s fun to chat with colleagues about life outside of work!”
Let Go of the Guilt
A study carried out last year by Irish Life, found that nearly 50% of Irish office workers admitted to regularly eating their lunch at their desks. This may seem like the right thing to do when the pressure is on in work, but in fact you get no thanks for it.
If it’s a case of following the crowd, then be the pioneer of your office and dare to go beyond your desk for your lunch break. Stepping out and enjoying your lunch break highlights your time management skills, you can work and enjoy your lunch break all in an 8-hour day.
Lorraine believes, “most employers these days encourage their employees to take their full lunch break. It ties in with promotion of employee wellbeing and many organisations provide kitchen or canteen facilities for their employees with some providing chill out zones and fun activities!”
It’s Good for your Health
Most importantly, getting up from your desk is good for your health, both physically and mentally. Movement is already limited when you sit at a desk all day, you don’t even have to turn around yourself as your swivel chair takes care of that!
Keeping active and exercising has now been associated with improving people’s mental health and wellbeing, so, sticking yourself to your chair all day is not going to help yours!
As a Qualified Career, Personal & Executive Coach, Lorraine says, “I strongly believe that our bodies were not designed to sit in one position for 7-8 hours per day and if we don’t get out even for a quick walk this will eventually result in back and repetitive strain issues. The answer is to get up and get out even if it’s for short periods.”Posted in: Career Resources