Today is the kick off for “Take Back Your Lunch”, http://theenergyproject.com/takebackyourlunch. The movement was started by The Energy Group, which offers organizations a detailed blueprint for fueling a fully engaged workforce. Why not promote a real lunch break?
Some organizations provide unwritten “permission” to take a lunch, and I mean more than 20 minutes. The average worker takes a 20 minute lunch. Many corporate cultures unknowingly promote a culture where eating while you work at your desk is the “norm”. If you work more than 40 hours per week, you are working more than an 8 hour day. It is a long day without a break. The United States has one of thehighest rates of obesity, ergonomic issues (i.e. back issues) stemming from sitting at desks and computers all day, not to mention the many stressed employees due to multiple factors from home to work.
Taking a lunch should be a requirement…it just should, unless you need to meet a deadline or need to leave early, etc. The advantages to taking a lunch for employees are many: a mental break away from the many items and details that consume an employee all day long; a physical break from a computer screen; an opportunity to take a walk or exercise; time to socialize with co-workers or friends; and maybe even time to catch up on a book or newspaper. The list could go on.
On the other side of the coin, employers can reap many benefits as well; refocused and re-energized employees when they return to their desk or workspace; reduced ergonomic issues from hunching over a computer or using a mouse for too long; healthier employees who take the time to get physical exercise, which can only lead to lower obesity rates and lower health insurance costs; and a workforce that is happier and a little less stressed out. Why wouldn’t a company promote taking a lunch?
The last year and a half has been trying for everyone. We all could use some extra mental health time. Let’s give ourselves a break and take time for lunch!