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Some of us countdown the minutes until we can close our work and step away to take a lunch break, and some of us get caught up in the momentum so much that it is painful to drag yourself away to eat. No matter who you are, let’s talk about all things lunch break. 

What is a lunch break?

If you have ever worked in an office, you are probably familiar with the concept of a lunch break. Around noon, someone tentatively throws out an idea for lunch, and a few people latch on, and then a group goes out to get food, and comes back to eat with the employees who pack lunch from home. Overall, it comes out to somewhere between a half hour and a full hour for employees to shift their focus away from work, refuel their bodies, and connect with coworkers in a completely different setting.

Why is it important for my work?

The lunch break is a great opportunity. According to Forbes, taking regular breaks in the work day is one of the best ways to increase productivity. The time off can recenter your priorities, and give you fresh perspective to the projects you are working on. Sometimes all you need to have a breakthrough is a half hour to take your mind off of the matter and relieve some pressure surrounding big projects. Lunch is a perfect excuse to step away from meetings and endless assignments and energize yourself.  This is especially true for remote employees. Staring at a computer screen may be required for the job, but it does not mean that it is good for your productivity to introduce that much screen time into your life. Go stand in your yard and soak up some natural sunlight at the peak of the day, or take the benefit of your own kitchen to make something delicious to enjoy over lunch.

Why is it important for my well being?

In addition to benefiting your work, lunch breaks are also designed to improve your quality of life as an employee. When you take breaks, your mental wellbeing improves. This happens as a direct consequence of relaxing and recharging throughout the day. Diving into your work with no pause or time off can lead to serious stress, and you raise your risk of becoming one of the many victims of workplace burnout

Why is it important for my relationships?

Another great reason to take a lunch break is to maximize the opportunity to connect with your coworkers. Workplace friendships are highly coveted and valuable for networking and support, and they blossom over lunch. Having friendships in the office can help cultivate a kinder workplace, and build community around your coworkers. Going out for lunch with coworkers is one of our recommended ways to stay optimistic at work– it is something to look forward to. Making an effort to connect with the people you sit next to – or know over zoom – can make the difference between you tolerating and being excited about your job.