How many of you out there take a lunch break? Now you may ask well what do you mean by lunch break? An hour away or eating a meal at your desk?
Desk lunches needs to end, if for nothing else, our over-strained eyes need a screen break.
Aside from the fact that sacrificing your lunch break isn’t fun, it’s also not exactly healthy.
So what steps should you take to implement that much-needed mental and physical break into your day?
Here’s some actionable advice on how to reclaim lunch today.
Take a step back and ask yourself, “Why don’t I take a proper lunch?”
If you regularly skip lunch, ask yourself why that’s happening and discover what’s motivating your behavior.
Is anybody telling you you’re not allowed? Or are you not meeting your goals? No! Then it’s probably just in your head. It might even stem from copied or learned behavior. You see coworkers also skipping lunch and you don’t necessarily question it.
Does your workplace have a culture that embraces lunch and work-life balance? Is there an area for people to eat lunch? If not, it could be the company culture that’s holding you back.
Acknowledge that you’ll be more productive if you take a lunch break
Nearly 90 percent of North American employees report that they feel more refreshed and ready to get back to work after a lunch break, according to a Tork survey cited on Forbes.
If numerous studies are telling us we’ll be more productive after stepping away from our computers and taking a break, why aren’t we all seizing this opportunity?
If regular lunch breaks aren’t a part of your routine at work, a gradual way to build it into your schedule is to block off time on your calendar. Start small by doing it once or twice a week—whatever feels comfortable to you.
If you’re the only one taking lunch, try to get others to join in
Spread the cultural change around the office by inviting others to join you for a lunch outing. You can make it a valuable experience, even if say twice a month you and a couple colleagues go have lunch and turn it into a brainstorm session.
If you’re feeling shy about asking coworkers to join you, encourage your company to implement tools like Donut, a Slack bot that randomly pairs employees up for coffee or lunch dates.
Consider ways to make your break productive beyond just fueling up
How can you make your lunch break into something that replenishes you on multiple levels?
Well, if possible, avoid playing on your phone at all. Most of us are sitting in front of a computer screen for the bulk of our day, so you actually need that screen-time break.
Or you could take a walk or try meditating—that can be done in a short period of time with zero equipment. Or use the time to touch base with people in other areas of the organization or in your broader network so that you keep a pulse on what’s going on.
Bottom line, a whole world of lunch time possibilities exists outside of the desk salad, so go on and find ’em.
Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, the fun, smart services for businesses looking to level up. How have you reclaimed your lunch break? Let Emily know by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.