The Disappearing Lunch Break

Talk about fast food -- according to an OfficeTeam survey, 48 percent of workers take a lunch break that's 30 minutes or less. Is stepping away for half an hour or less really enough time to eat and relax?

Besides eating, 42 percent of respondents said they spend their lunch break socializing with colleagues. Hanging out with coworkers in the break room or going out for lunch can be a fun way to get your mind off work and get to know each other better. Eating by yourself at your desk can get a little lonely. 

However, 29 percent of employees admitted they work during lunch. For shame! You might think checking a few emails or proofing documents during your lunch break will help you get ahead, but by doing so, you're denying yourself the chance to truly relax and recharge. Plus, we all know that sometimes multitasking between eating and working can get a little messy. Having food stains on documents isn't a good look. 

I'll be the first to admit that I've occasionally worked during lunch or skipped lunch altogether when the going gets tough and I really don't have the time to step away. But whenever possible, I'm fully taking advantage of my break to get my nutrients in and tackle a few errands (like picking up groceries or responding to personal phone calls). To be honest, I get a little nutty when I don't eat at a normal time or give my brain a rest. 

Those who are truly ambitious might even consider going to the gym or taking a walk outside during lunch. More power to you!

The moral of the story is that it's important to take lunch breaks. Do what you please during these breaks, but just try to avoid work-related tasks -- and remember to dedicate some time to eating and clearing your mind. You'll find that you come back to your desk more focused and motivated.  

How long is your typical break and what do you do during it?