Ah, the lunch break. The time of day when we grab lunch solo or with our coworkers, and enjoy a brief respite from work.
Or at least we used to, back in the day when we felt like we had time to do such things, according to the results dished up in a new OnePoll/Eggland's Best survey of 2,000 employees.
Snack Breaks Are Replacing Lunch Breaks
The traditional lunch break is becoming a 20th-Century work anachronism, a hanger-on from a time gone by when we would stand up from our typewriters, turn off the Telex and let lunch take us away. These days, saying, "I'm off to lunch, back in an hour!" is sort of like yelling, "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" in the middle of an open office environment.
Instead of keeping mustard in our glove compartments, we're keeping snacks in our desks to provide the sustenance that will power us to quitting time. More than four in 10 employees surveyed (44%) forage through their snack drawers throughout the day as a substitute for a traditional lunch.
What are employees eating? A variety of snacks from the grocery store, snacks made at home, and snacks found in the vending machine. Nearly seven in 10 employees (68%) surveyed are snacking multiple times per day at their desks so they can get more work done. Grazing while typing, in other words.
Taking A Power Walk Break
So what are we using our designated "lunch break" time for if we're not eating lunch? Well, for power walks, of course! We have to work off all those snacks. The problem is, skipping a real lunch tends to hurt our overall productivity, and can leave us feeling sort of blah by quitting time. More than four in 10 (44%) employees surveyed said they left work feeling tired, stressed (31%), exhausted (26%), overwhelmed (24%), and/or anxious (20%).
So, what are we left to chew on here?
For starters, eat a real lunch instead of grazing on power bars and bananas all day, Millennials! Go ahead, adjust your monocle at the fax machine as you tell coworkers that you will be dining al fresco in a few minutes if anyone would like to join you. It's a beautiful day, and you want to be a part of it. You made a sack lunch last night, and brought it to work.
Good luck with that, I guess. Maybe we should just give up and start calling the old-fashion lunch break the "walk break"?