If you’ve got a heavy workload don’t fool yourself into thinking that working through your lunch break is the answer. You’ll find that your productivity levels will plummet later in the afternoon and you’ll lose time that way instead.
For a business, time is money, and this loss of productive time is costing UK businesses a grand total of £50 million per day.
Your health at work
As well as affecting productivity, working through your lunch break is likely to make you irritable and stressed, and continually working 10-11 hour days can even increase the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease.
If you’re one of the many who like to refuel with coffee and chocolate, next time you reach for that chocolate bar, remember that overdosing on caffeine could lead to insomnia and dehydration.
Reclaim your lunch break
To stop lunch breaks falling by the wayside, Bupa has launched ‘Reclaim the Lunchbreak’, an initiative to encourage workers to take regular breaks throughout the day.
So resist pressure from your manager to work through lunch, throw your unhealthy snacks in the bin and follow these top tips from Bupa experts to become a healthier, more productive member of staff:
Diet do’s and don’ts
- Do drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Keep a large, refillable water bottle nearby and get into the routine of filling it up every morning and finishing it before you go home.
- Don’t skip lunch – adrenaline can sometimes mask hunger and your brain will miss out on the essential nutrients and glucose it needs to function for the rest of the afternoon.
- Do base your lunch on the three basic food groups – one-third starch, over one-third vegetables or salad and the rest a low-fat protein source. This will help you maintain energy and concentration levels.
Get fighting fit
- During the day, stretch the muscles in your neck, shoulders and back to reduce strain and improve flexibility.
- Try to get up from your desk every half an hour, even if just to stand up for a moment or walk on the spot for a few seconds.
- Go for a walk or run at lunchtime, take the stairs instead of the lifts and walk up the escalator.
- Where possible try to speak to your colleagues rather than constantly sending emails. This can serve as motivators and stimulators for both employers and employees.
- Give specific and regular feedback to your colleagues. This promotes growth for employees and the organisation.
- Respect your employees and colleagues need for a healthy work/life balance. This will encourage prolonged work productivity as well as motivation.