Why HR should bring back real lunch breaks

by Nicola Middlemiss07 Apr 2015
How many of your employees sit at their desks while they tuck into pad thai or tuna salad? 

It might not seem remotely out of the ordinary for many HR professionals but one expert says organisations will suffer if they don’t put an end to desk-dining.

"Staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking," says UC-Davis Professor Kimberly Eslbach.

"It's also detrimental to doing that rumination that's needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an 'aha' moment," she added.

Despite Eslbach’s warning, an alarming 80% of employees take lunch at their desk – the traditional break is on the brink of extinction.

Even so, Elsbach says HR professionals should staunchly encourage workers to get out of the building for a brief period every day – if not for lunch, then for sanity.

"It doesn't have to be between 12pm and 1pm to have a positive impact," she said. "It can be just going outside and taking a walk around the block."


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