Swamped at work? Don’t let your demanding schedule eat away at your lunch break. Because cutting out this valuable time may not be a good thing for productivity.
Robert Half, a worldwide staffing agency, ran a survey examining how Americans spend their lunch breaks. The results are based on telephone interviews with 400 office professionals in the United States. It found that nearly half of us spend 30 minutes or less on lunch break. In addition, 42 percent said they socialize during lunch time.
But nearly a third said they work straight through lunch instead. Here’s what else the survey found…
- 9 percent said they take no lunch break or less than 10 minutes.
- 38 percent revealed they take an hour or more for lunch.
- Only 1 percent claimed to do nothing but eat during lunch.
- 18 percent exercise or take a walk during lunch.
Food clearly isn’t the only thing on employees’ plates. But skipping lunch altogether and not using this time to network can potentially set back one’s career, according to Robert Half OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking.
“Lunch breaks aren’t just for eating — they provide time to clear your head and recharge,” Hosking said in the survey. “Workers also can use their lunch breaks to get to know colleagues better and build their professional networks.”
To make the most of this free time at work, OfficeTeam provided five takeaways. First off, it’s best to relax and avoid doing work: A clear mind is a productive mind. Secondly, food powers the brain with proper nutrients. Try driving a car without gasoline.
OfficeTeam also suggests leaving the office to work out. It’s another way to clear the mind. Loners, be aware: Lunch is the chance to land contacts. In life, it’s who you know that will get you ahead. Then again, you can save time and your sanity by running errands when you clock out around noon.
But whatever you do, don’t be one of the 1 percent that sit there and just eat.