No Time to Lose: A Search for Work / Life Balance

A little more on lunch “hours” by notimetolose
June 24, 2008, 8:15 pm
Filed under: ideas, news articles | Tags: , , ,

Reposted from 360 ezine … click to read the whole article

Let’s start with the numbers. The Steelcase research found that the traditional U.S. lunch hour has shrunk to more of a lunch break—just 31 minutes. Fifty-five percent of workers take a half an hour or less for lunch. Women are much more likely to take shorter lunches than men (61% vs. 48%).


“We’re double-tasking, eating lunch over the keyboard tray and trying to get work done at the same time,” says Richard Bliss, vice president and senior designer at Solomon Cordwell Buenz in Chicago. “You grab fifteen minutes of break time because your schedule is so chaotic, and you’d rather take a short break at lunch so you can get out of the office at a decent time at the of the day.”


Down Under, Australians say they’re just too busy to nosh at noon. One in three skips lunch at least once a week. One in ten rarely or never has it. In a poll conducted by ACNeilsen Omnibus, one in five Australians takes less than 20 minutes for lunch, one-third of lunchers dine for just 20-30 minutes, and only 16% enjoy a comparatively luxurious 45-60 minutes for lunch. [3]


“Lunch is a kind of telltale sign about large issues in the workplace. With the global nature of business, a larger pool of competitors, downsizing every industry, a general reluctance to add staff too quickly, employees need to work harder and longer,” says Chris Congdon, corporate marketing manager for Steelcase. “Our professional and personal lives are busier than ever. Something’s got to give, and it looks like it’s lunch.”


Still, if you’re looking for reasons to fit in an outside bite, lunch can help you:

1. Develop business relationships

Network, meet-and-greet and — who knows? — maybe strike a deal.

2. Get to know your coworkers and clients

How often have you said, “We ought to go to lunch”?

3. Get to know your employees

Lunch can help strengthen any relationship.

4. Generate some innovative thinking

“Scheduled brainstorming” is an oxymoron. An informal lunch helps people relax and open up.

5. Rest your unconscious

Picking up the dry cleaning isn’t always relaxing because your brain gets no break. “Lunch out” can mean “veg out.”

6. Mentor someone

With everyone working harder and longer, lunch may be the best way to transfer wisdom from old hands to younger workers.

7. Get healthy

Nutritionists say making lunch part of a consistent meal plan helps control weight, boosts energy and concentration levels, and promotes general wellness. Or, you can just order the ribs platter.

8. Fuel your afternoon

Food gurus say a high-fiber, low-fat lunch provides the longest-lasting energy to help you avoid an afternoon slump.

9. Refresh and recharge
Everyone needs a break. Midday is the perfect time.

10. Give your coworkers a break
We all need some space once in a while.

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