Then I came across an article about America’s lunch hour being on the endangered list. Have we become so focused on productivity that our ‘lunch hour’ is really going the way of the typewriter? In a survey, only 35 percent of employees in this country say they almost always take a lunch break.
Maybe working through lunch is a result of a poor economy. I’ve read articles about how workers feel they have to prove their dedication and worth by skipping lunch, coming into the office early, working late or being available at all hours of the night in order to keep their jobs. Is the market still bad enough that people feel this is the ‘new norm.’ The same survey I mentioned above found that about 65 percent of employees either eat at their desk or don’t take lunch breaks at all.
I have to admit, sometimes things just get too busy and having that extra hour in the workday helps reduce stress and pressure. And I have found that if I want to participate in a live webinar or watch an archive, doing it while I eat lunch works pretty well: I can sit and stare at my computer monitor and not have to continually switch between my mouse/keyboard and my sandwich.
I’ve also found, though, that taking a break, even if it is just for 20 or 30 minutes, helps me feel refreshed. Research shows that taking time in the middle of the day to walk away from your desk lets you:
- Clear your head
- Gain perspective
- Improve your health/fitness if you work out
What’s your lunchtime routine? Do you stay put and get some extra work done or take time for yourself and your mental/physical health? Does the notion of working through lunch to prove you can get the job done in spite of being short on resources still hold water?