Balancing act: Do you work through lunch or take time to recharge?
"Lunch breaks aren't just for eating — they provide time to clear your head and recharge," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, in a prepared statement about the survey. "Workers also can use their lunch breaks to get to know colleagues better and build their professional networks."
I never thought of using my lunch break as a networking opportunity, but it's always interesting to learn more about co-workers. It's also probably true that people like me who usually spend our breaks huddled in our cubicles could make better use of that time, improving our health and enjoying a boost to our work-life balance.
Along those lines, OfficeTeam offered five suggestions for making the most of your lunch break, including:
"Take a real break." The OfficeTeam release says you should avoid working during your lunch break so you can use your time to "truly relax and recharge."
Eat nutritious food that will give you the energy you need for the rest of your day.
"Get out," the OfficeTeam statement suggests. "Step away from your desk to clear your mind and stretch your body. Take a walk outside or exercise at the gym."
"Don't eat alone." OfficeTeam advises people to join co-workers in the break room or meet friends at a restaurant away from the workplace.
"Check items off your list," the survey recommends. "Taking care of personal tasks during lunch can mean there's less to worry about after work."
These are all good ideas, and I may try to implement some of them myself.
Meanwhile, I'd be interested in learning more about your lunchtime habits. How long is your average lunch break? What do you do during that time? And how do you think your health has been affected, positively or negatively, by your midday routine?
Drop me a line, and I'll share some of your responses in a future column. In the meantime, bon appétit!