You know the drill: Grab your brown bag from the fridge, choke down that ham sandwich and get back to work. If the day is really exciting, you might have to eat in the car while running errands. It’s a glamorous life, but someone’s got to do it.
But lunch breaks can be so much more if you plan ahead and work your plan, said Trisha Plovie, regional vice president in Western Michigan for OfficeTeam. She gets it – everyone has times when work is so busy that you have to skip a decent lunch and the quiet time that comes with it.
“These occasions should be rare, however, as the drawbacks of skipping a lunch break regularly are large. We may experience burnout. We may be less productive – both later in the day, as well as over the long term,” Plovie said.
“If the non-work tasks or errands we could accomplish during lunch get pushed to the evenings or weekends, we could feel more stressed. A little time away from work offers a chance to recharge and return with renewed focus,” Plovie added.
Here’s why Plovie thinks you deserve a break today – and a decent lunch:
1. You need the break. As much as possible, avoid doing work during your lunch break so you can use the time to truly relax and recharge. Breaks are as much a part of the work day as the work is, and you need to move about once in a while.
2. Eating does a body good. Getting the proper nutrients will provide the energy you need to get through the rest of the day. Go ahead and take the time to savor your food! It helps if you packed a great lunch in the first place.
3. You need a change of scenery. Step away from your desk to clear your mind and stretch your body. Take a walk outside or exercise at the gym. Humans are drawn to nature for a reason, so at least find some time to look outside or stretch your legs.
4. Get to know your co-workers. Join your fellow employees in the break room or grab a bite with others outside the office. Your lunch break is a great opportunity to socialize with colleagues and make new networking connections.
5. Get it done. Check items off your list. Taking care of personal tasks during lunch can mean there’s less to worry about after work. Make sure you keep the list reasonable so you can achieve it as well as get back in time for the afternoon shift.
“Plus, if you don’t have time to eat a full meal or step out for lunch, you may end up relying on the vending machine or skipping eating altogether, which could cause potential health issues. Bringing your lunch to work and taking the proper time to enjoy it can help you toward being healthier,” Plovie said.