Are Lunch Breaks REALLY That Important?

With the rise of social media sites, online shopping, music apps, and the never ending possibilities of the internet, it’s no wonder why many employees are content spending their lunch breaks at their desks. Some employees work through lunch, while others skip it all together. Many people might assume working through lunch is productive; however, encouraging this habit can actually have a negative impact on your employees. 

Burnout
Skipping a lunch can result in your employees feeling overwhelmed, thus, reducing their motivation to work. This results in burnout and is one of the main reasons why you should encourage your employees to take their lunch break away from the desk. While employees who don’t take a break may not feel the burnout for some time, eventually it can catch up with them causing employee productivity to drop significantly.
Work Quality

When employees work through their lunch break, it can make their work day seem longer. Taking lunch away from their desk gives them a chance to relax and refocus, allowing them to become more productive towards the end of the day. If an employee works during lunch, they may be so focused on the task at hand that they don’t allow themselves time to relax, resulting in high stress levels. By mid-afternoon, your employees may find themselves burned out, thus affecting their performance the remainder of the day.

Health
Skipping lunch or grabbing a quick bite can also have a negative impact on your employee’s health. Not allowing themselves enough time for lunch means they’re most likely not refueling to get through the afternoon. Often times, these “quick bites” are from fast food chains, which have limited healthy options. A quick snack doesn’t replace a proper lunch and can be more stressful on your employees. If this habit continues, not only do you have stressed employees, but also unhealthy ones. Getting away from the desk not only allows employees to step away from work for a healthy period of time, it also gives them a chance to stretch, socialize, and walk around, reducing the chances of joint pain, back pain, or even weight gain.

Social Value
Taking lunch breaks away from their desks gives your employees a chance to mingle with some of the other employees under non-work related conditions. This encourages team bonding and can help improve overall employee morale. In addition, lunch breaks are perfect for employees to catch-up and spend quality time with friends or even a significant other, improving your employee’s attitude for the rest of the day.

So, if you notice some of your employees spending too much time at their desks and in front of a computer, encourage them to take advantage of their lunch breaks to catch up with old friends, connect with colleagues, or run some errands.

How do you help ensure your employees get a lunch break? Let us know in the comments section below.

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