A recent study from the University of Toronto looked at Restorative Lunch Breaks and the effect of having a good relaxing lunch break on employees.

The study found that relaxing activities during lunch, freely-chosen by workers, led to the least amount of reported fatigue at the end of the day.  Getting work done resulted in employees appearing more tired, but that effect was reduced when employees felt it was their decision.Socializing, however, also led to higher levels of fatigue; something the paper says has to do with whether workers feel free to decide if they want to socialize and who they’re socializing with.

Bupa state that “UK companies are losing close to £50 million a day in lost productivity as workers fail to take a lunch break”.

Bupa also point out that the levels of productivity plummet in the afternoon if no lunch break is taken. A similar finding to the University of Toronto.

The UK Government state that “Workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day (this could be a tea or lunch break), if they work more than 6 hours a day.” But how many workers are actually doing this?

To get around this I have block booked a whole year of Lunch Breaks in my diary to try and reclaim sometime around Lunch to disengage and get away from the keyboard. An ambitious move! time will tell if it works. The challenge to this approach though is that people booking slots into your diary do not often use the booking tools to identify a free/busy time and book it because they are free at that time.