You’ve been working since arriving this morning, your brain is getting foggy and your stomach is starting to rumble. What do you do?
Recent surveys show that around 60-70% of professionals either eat at their desk or do not take a break for lunch. This can be down to a number of reasons:
- Sometimes it’s connected to workplace culture; in some places taking proper breaks isn’t the done thing.
- Other times it’s because people don’t want to be seen not working. Taking a break = being lazy?
- It can be related to the example set by senior staff; if they’re seen to be working without breaks then this presents a dilemma for other employees, leading to them feeling obliged to do the same.
- “I’m too busy for that”. Breaks are often regarded as a luxury and when to-do lists are bulging, they are the first thing to be dropped.
This behaviour is proven to be detrimental to productivity; several studies have shown how taking regular breaks at work can help us get more done.
As well as this, not taking breaks also has a negative effect on health. It increases the risk of DSE related issues, such as RSI, fatigue, eye strain and backache. The advice given is to take short regular breaks, stand up and walk around a little.
Lunch breaks play an even bigger role than these shorter breaks. First of all, food. Food is important; it provides your body with energy and helps to keep you focused.
Stepping away from a problem can also help. Let’s say you’ve encountered an issue in the work you’ve been doing. You look at it over again and again, and can’t think of any way to solve it. Allowing your brain to focus on something else is good. You’ll still have the problem floating around in your subconscious and a solution may just come to you when you least expect it.
Here at Naimuri, we try to encourage everyone to take regular breaks. One way this can be seen being put into practice is in our break-out area most lunchtimes. We have a number of people who take time out at lunch to play board games. Anyone can pick up a game and play with their fellow employees. People can drop in and out during their preferred break window. It brings together people who may not otherwise interact during the work day, forging stronger inter-office relationships. It relieves pressure from the current workload and puts those involved in a better mood for the remainder of the work day.
Next time you feel that brain fog kick in and your tummy starting to rumble, think of all of the advantages of taking a proper break. Give yourself that time to relax and reap the benefits when you get back down to business.