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Taking a lunch break might not be the miracle elixir cure-all to what ails you about work, but it can surely help improve productivity and job satisfaction. At least, that's what the scientists are saying.
According to recently published research, when employees are encouraged to take breaks for lunch, and throughout the day for healthy activities like walking, snacking on good-for-you foods, or even just socializing, both employee productivity and job satisfaction increase. While the latter may seem obvious, an increase in productivity seems counterintuitive to encouraging breaks. But it isn't.
While the measures used for the research aren't exactly super scientific, based on survey responses, nearly 90% of respondents stated that taking a lunch break helps them "feel refreshed and get back to work."
This stands in striking contrast to other survey results, namely that nearly 40% of workers do not feel encouraged to take a lunch break. But as noted in the Forbes report (linked above), lunch breaks can really help prevent that afternoon slump, which is a productivity killer. It's also explained that apart from the immediate productivity benefits for employers, employees benefit as well from increased mental well-being and reduced stress levels, which improves creativity and productivity. And while you might be thinking this sort of "scientific research" consisting of surveying workers really isn't that reliable, does it matter? The scientists are telling you to take a break from working and eat something.
Lawyers cannot subsist on coffee and booze alone. Eating is important if you expect to be able to work a full day. Despite what you may believe, you need energy for your brain to work right and healthy food along with a little relaxation gives your brain the best afternoon energy boost.
If you skip breakfast or wait too long to have lunch, you're putting yourself at risk of becoming hangry, less productive, and more drained of energy than you should be. It's one of those "you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others" things.
Embracing the ritual of lunch, or just a regular walking or water break, is a healthy, stress-reducing practice that could just improve everything.
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