In some offices it’s good form to work through lunch, but a recent study found workers get a happiness boost from eating outside.
Take a look around the office around midday and count the empty seats. If most of your staff are scarfing sandwiches at their desks you might have a happiness problem.
A new survey found people feel happiest about work when they eat lunch at the beach or in a park, and eating at their desk or in a work cafeteria can decrease happiness at work. Even eating on public transport was more satisfying than eating at a desk.
The research was commissioned by UK bread brand Kingsmill and carried out by scientists at the University of Sussex.
The researchers said decreased happiness at work can lead to reduced productivity and a generally unhappier workplace, while going out to eat made people view their job more favourably and could potentially increase productivity.
Eating sandwiches on the beach was found to boost mood the most, with a park bench in a green space second best. Both of these locations make workers happier than going to a restaurant, the psychologists found.
"It's fascinating that lunches outside, at the beach or on a park bench, can have such a dramatic impact on people's emotional wellbeing and attitudes towards work,” a Kingsmill spokesman said. “Eating sandwiches with the sun on your face, or feeling a light refreshing breeze, can really help refresh you and refocus your mind for the afternoon ahead."