It’s something that more and more of us are guilty of, and a seemingly growing issue in the business world: failing to take a lunch break. An hour away from the office in the middle of the day allows us brief respite from the teetering piles of work on our desks, in order to refresh our minds away from technology and other distractions. Despite this, many of us are compelled to work through lunch or to remain at our computers: research indicates that only one person in five takes a regular lunch break, and many remain ‘on call’ during their lunch hour, continuing to engage with work by checking emails and phones. In today’s blog post we examine this pitfall of ‘desk culture’, and explore the reasons why taking a break is important for the body, mind and business.
For those with a heavy workload, working through lunch may seem the preferable option compared to staying late, but failing to take a break on a regular basis can have negative consequences for your efficiency in the workplace. Productivity levels tend to diminish throughout the day, especially if you fail to take a significant break from your daily business. Studies into workplace productivity have shown that a break of just 15-20 minutes can lift concentration levels and help to sustain them throughout the day, although a longer 30 to 60 minute break can have even better effects. Taking a break from business and leaving your desk will give you a chance to relax, reducing stress levels and the chance of mid-afternoon fatigue. It has also been shown that a lunchtime break can improve the quality of your work in the afternoon: according to John Trougakos of the University of Toronto, ‘fatigue is related to decrements in efficiency, productivity and accuracy of work’ – so if you are flagging by lunch time, a quick stroll may help improve your concentration later in the day.
Besides the productivity issue, getting out of the office for half an hour can make a significant difference to your health. Conditions stemming from inactivity, such as obesity and heart disease, are a growing concern in today’s desk-orientated work culture, but gentle forms of exercise such as a brisk walk each day can help reduce the likelihood of these issues as well as lifting your mood. Furthermore,research has shown that eating ‘al desko’ affects the kinds of foods people choose. Desk-eaters tend to opt for convenience foods higher in fat and sugar, contributing to fluctuating blood sugar levels which may leave workers fatigued and unmotivated in the afternoon; conversely, leaving the office gives workers a chance to properly consider their lunch choices, instead of opting for the quickest, most convenient lunchtime meal.
While it’s easy to feel that factors such as time or location conspire to make leaving the office difficult, working in the City shouldn’t be seen as an excuse for evading lunchtime exercise: there are plenty of green spaces nestled within the bustling streets of London, and it couldn’t be easier to utilise these spots for your own lunchtime requirements, whether this is a quick jog or just a quiet bench. Several of LEO’s serviced offices are located within short walking distance of gorgeous greenery, providing the perfect opportunity to escape the office, clear your head and enjoy the weather outside. Those working in our Midtown luxury serviced offices are lucky enough to be located close to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the largest public square in London, whilst our Knightsbridge and Belgravia offices are just a stone’s throw from the famous Hyde Park. LEO’s City locations, including 148 Leadenhall Street, 1 Cornhill and the brand new 85 Gresham Street office, are situated close to the wonderful Barber Surgeon’s Garden just off Wood Street. If your goal is simply a bit of peace and quiet, take a short walk from our 23 King Street or 33 St. James’s Square locations, and spend some time enjoying the tranquillity that is St. James’s Park.
For enquiries regarding LEO’s serviced offices, please contact: Serviced Offices: +44 (0)20 3008 8888 | Meeting Rooms: +44 (0)20 3008 8889