Some days it’s pretty much impossible to take a lunch break. A deadline or big project might take priority.
But on an average, calm workday, many people who want to take a lunch break often don’t.
Who’s being prevented from taking their breaks the most? Millennials. Although this demographic will make up over 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025, Millennials feel pressured by their coworkers and superiors to sit out their lunch breaks. The results of a new study reveal that Millennials are three times more likely than Baby Boomers to think that others will judge them negatively if they take lunch away from their desks. Further, 31 per cent of Millennial bosses say employees who take regular lunch breaks are less hard working.
Contrary to these perceptions, studies show that breaks (like lunch breaks!) from a task are good for your brain and can actually foster productivity.
Research has found that taking your mind off the task at hand reinforces the strength of the prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that helps us stay on track with our goals. Breaks also help cut decision fatigue, boost the likelihood of creative sparks, and improve memory.
What does it all mean? Demographics can have a direct impact on a workplace’s culture. An office with a leadership team made up of Baby Boomers might be perceived as less welcoming of lunch breaks than an office with leaders who skew younger.
And what can you do if you feel that your need to take a lunch break is stifled? Talk to your direct manager about it, and arm yourself with the benefits of breaks in this post. The odds are that if you can demonstrate that your productivity and results aren’t impacted – or are even improved – by stepping away from your desk for lunch, it shouldn’t be a problem. Who knows, maybe you’ll be a lunch-taking trendsetter in your office!
And want a bonus productivity boost? Try walking down the block to grab a sandwich too. Check out the benefits of taking walks during the workday here.
Do you take lunch breaks? Why or why not? Share in the comments.
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Image credits: Pixabay.com.