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Lunch-gate! Are you really getting away from your desk?

Lunch-gate! Are you really getting away from your desk?

15 Oct 13:00 by Heather Lawson

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We all know we should, but Lawyers are some of the worst culprits when it comes to not getting away from the office at lunchtime and having a proper break. New research has shown that sitting at the desk for the whole of the day can actually lower creativity and productivity levels, and more seriously, lead to long term physical health problems. So, how often do you really take your break at lunch? It turns out most professionals are not very good at getting away from their desks. Research shows us that the average lunch break is just 28 minutes, with only 17% of British workers taking a full hour.

Full hour lunch breaks are often seen as a workplace taboo, but if you allow for adequate time to recharge your brain and disconnect for a while, your batteries simply aren’t going to be fully charged coming back to work for the following day. Lawyers are self-aware enough to know this, but an unwritten rule in a lot of law firms dictates that if your face is missing from your desk for an hour at lunchtime, you simply aren’t working as hard as you should.  

Reasons to take your lunch break: 

Productivity - our brains aren’t designed to concentrate on a task for hours on end. Lawyer or not.  Without taking a break, you simply aren’t going to be as productive as those who get away from the desk and come back refreshed and focussed. Sticking to a scheduled lunch break will also help you plan your day better, thus improving your time management. Bupa found that nearly 50% of workers say that their productivity dips at around 3pm if they hadn't taken a proper break.

Bonding with your team - Being at our desks all day means that we are potentially not interacting on a social level, with our colleagues. Even eating at our desks with the rest of team isn’t really very social as usually, the focus is still what's on your desk, your computer, your papers... Taking an occasional lunch with your teammates though truly helps you bond outside of day to day work tasks, and nurtures much better communication between a team.... This is how you team build. Ultimately improving the team dynamic by socialising can help you to feel more supported, more included in the office, making you happier to come to work and increasing your productivity! 

Health - Taking breaks is good for our physical and mental health. Even if it is for just 15 minutes, researchers have shown that leaving the office can significantly reduce stress levels while boosting levels of creativity. Stepping away from the work environment altogether helps our minds to function effectively, just the simple fact of enjoying your food without any distractions will likely boost your mood.

Rhianna Kyeremateng