Make Your Lunch Break Work For You

Corporate activities are important to diverse first all your work into building relationship for long term company goals. Working days can be tough and take it out of you both physically and mentally, as you dash from meeting to meeting or grapple with new addresses for parcel delivery. Regardless of your occupation, your days will be long and you will undoubtedly have times of stress and demanding deadlines. Lunch breaks are a great way of relieving tension, clearing your mind and refueling your body and soul.

However, research conducted by the supermarket Spar in October this year, revealed that more and more workers are cutting back when it comes to lunch breaks. A quarter of those asked said they frequently skip lunch altogether and 10 per cent said they take a break of less than 20 minutes. The average lunch break taken is now just 35 minutes.

The unclaimed lunch breaks are costing businesses untold amounts of money because of the staff productivity dips, fuelled by the lack of a proper rest time.

Time to take your break

When you just have to get an email to a client before lunch time or a customer arrives early and you don’t want to be rude – these are the occasions when it’s easy to think, “I’ll take my break when I get home”. But trying to work when you are hungry and beginning to feel the onset of tiredness is counter-productive and you are bound to be less creative, motivated and sharp. The mind needs fuel to generate ideas and solutions, and the body needs a break from the desk and computer set-up of many working environments.

According to the Working Time Directive, which sets out the minimum standards for working hours for most adult workers, you should take a break of at least 20 minutes if your working day is six hours and longer.

So, if you have fallen into the category of those who skip or eat lunch at their desk previously, now is the time to stop and take your break.

The lunch time possibilities are endless

Whether you have a short, 20 minute break or are lucky enough to enjoy an hour’s lunch, there are plenty of options to boost your day. Just the simple action of taking your break and getting away from the working set-up for a short time will increase your productivity in the afternoon and leave you feeling valued by your employer – so imagine how great you’ll feel if you really make the most of this time?

Exercise is a good way of relieving tension and making you feel calmer and more positive. More and more businesses are beginning to realise the benefits of corporate fitness and corporate well being, and are investing in programmes to help staff stay healthy. For example, Esteem Fitness works with companies across London and England to run fitness, nutrition and well being solutions on a flexible basis, so you could have a 20 minute workout at lunch time; group training such as a running club, postnatal training, and yoga; as well as massages and seminars.

Esteem Fitness can run lunch time sessions on nutrition to help you eat healthily with menu planning and unravelling the nutritional value of certain foods. Presentations on stress management or confidence coaching could be just the ticket for a successful afternoon at work; or perhaps a rehabilitation therapy session like a massage or quit-smoking class will improve your mood.

Outside of your company, other lunch time activities to enjoy include a walk or a run, or whizzing to the shops so you can free up some time after work.

Reality lunch bites

Very few workplaces operate a rigid 9-5 routine, with your lunch break taken at the same time every day. Some days it may not be easy to escape your desk, but by ensuring you take a break at least three times a week, you’ll notice a big difference in your positivity, creativity and output – and so will your boss!

Vanessa Alexander

Fitness and well being Consultant

Esteem Fitness Ltd

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