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Tim Dower: Why taking a lunch break is so important

Author
Tim Dower,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Thursday, 11 October 2018, 8:57a.m.
It's about your mental health and work-life balance. Photo / 123RF

The long lunch is almost definitely a thing of the past and now it seems any kind of lunch is becoming a bit of a bonus in some workplaces.

Nearly three-quarters of Kiwi workers don't take their full designated lunch break.

In fact, according to recruitment firm Hays, about one in 10 of us don't take a lunch break at all, with only 28 percent actually putting down their tools for the full break on most days, and others regular;y only taking half their break. 

Yet there's evidence that productivity overall is better when they've had a chance to step away for a while.

I'm pretty sure you'd get a similar result if you surveyed workplaces here.

Part of it seems to be down to the idea that you have to be seen at your desk at all times, or people start saying you're not pulling your weight.

And I'll bet these ghastly open-plan sweatshops businesses seem to be into these days have something to do with that.

Hays actually says it, in some business cultures there's been an unwritten rule that people need to be visible, at their desks at all times.

Even though it's unhealthy and counterproductive.

Some people take no break at all, according to Hays managing director Nick Deligiannis.

As an individual member of a team, it's difficult to be the odd one out, everyone watching you, maybe even a little envious muttering.

But bugger it, we need to stick up for ourselves a bit more.

And maybe once the head honchos start to realise we actually do more work and better work when we take a break, they will start encouraging us.

It's about your mental health and work-life balance.

And as the old adage goes, when we're on our deathbeds, not many of us will be wishing we spent more time at our desks.

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