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Corporate Wellness Advisor

Reclaim Lunch to Boost Productivity

September 19, 2011
Written by: , Filed in: Corporate Wellness Programs, Workplace Productivity Programs
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Reclaim Lunch to Boost Productivity

A recent survey indicated that the lunch break may be going the way of 9-to-5 workdays and pension plans. That is to say, they may be becoming obsolete.

In an online poll of 751 North American workers by Right Management, a third of them said they rarely or never take a lunch break and another third eat at their desks.

Says Michael Haid of Right Management, “Employees may feel they have to apologize for stepping out, but in the long run this kind of company culture does not help improve performance or engagement.”

Look around your office at noon on a given day and see how many of your employees are scarfing down a sandwich at their desks, phones cradled on their shoulder and fingers typing away.

And even the sandwich scarfers are better off than those who grab a bag of chips and a soda from the vending machine, or those who skip lunch altogether.

Today’s fast-paced office environment, overworked employees, and general sense of job insecurity compounds the problem of midday meal missteps.

The idea that multitasking is the only way to get it all done actually does more harm than good. By trying to do everything at the same time, they’re setting themselves up to do it all halfway. They’re also missing out on the opportunity to replenish their energy, refocus their attention, and give their brains a rest so they can ramp up their productivity for the remainder of the day.

And if you can’t pry them away from their desks long enough to refuel with a nutritious lunch, forget about that 10-minute walk around the building that you’ve been clamoring for.

Encourage your employees to get away for a real lunch break every day. You can’t force them to eat a well-balanced lunch or keep them from wolfing down a fast-food burger between meetings. But even if they take a break to get a breath of fresh air, the simple act of getting away from their desks has big benefits.

Productivity and performance will show you how big.

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