Monday, August 20, 2012

We're always told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That it sets us up with energy for the day ahead, after the body has had time to recover during the night. This might be true in purely dietary terms but when it comes to your working life, then lunch is definitely the most important meal of the day. This is confirmed by a study undertaken at the University of Aston in Birmingham, UK. Their results showed that many employees are working an extra sixteen days a year by eating lunch at their desks and not having a lunch hour. The study showed that a massive 60% of all office workers in the UK ate at their desks, which added up to a colossal 128 hours a year each, or more than three working weeks. Also revealed was the fact that even those who did manage to get away from their desks often spent time meeting with clients or running business errands. These are some really interesting results that clearly affect a lot of people. Just imagine the look on the boss' face if you asked to have your sixteen days off in lieu. It's unlikely that you would get the time back. Conversely, if you are the boss, imagine asking your employees to work an extra sixteen days a year without any extra pay, which is essentially what you are doing if they eat at their desks. Of course, there is more to this story than simple numbers. It also means that many employees feel pressured or under stress to keep up. In these uncertain financial times when jobs are less stable than ever, employees are doing their best to keep on top of their workload and impress the powers that be. That all sounds well and good but pressured employees seldom work at their most productive. And everyone knows that time spent at the desk doesn't always equate to time at work. Just because your staff are sitting and eating lunch at their desks it doesn't mean they are working all the time. Stressed employees actually waste a lot of time because they are not focused on what they are doing. On the flip side of this is the fact that contented employees work more efficiently. Staff who have ample holidays, aren't stressed and get enough time to eat a healthy lunch, will actually perform better. In this sense, by trying to get more done, you may actually be doing less. Which is why having proper breakout spaces in your office is so important. But many offices just don't have the room. Serviced offices have often been designed by business professionals who know that layout and division of space can greatly affect the working environment and productivity of staff teams. A designated break space with good kitchen facilities is a must for any busy office. It might not seem so important but it really is.


Sign up for our newsletter

Please sign up to our monthly newsletter for news, events, articles and special offers.