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What’s the one thing employees can do to recharge each day? It’s simple – take a lunch break. But many employees think that working through lunch is a way they can show greater commitment to their job. That’s not the case. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
Last year our Tork business published North American research that showed a direct correlation between taking a lunch break with employee engagement and happiness. Employees who take regular lunch breaks said they were more efficient at their jobs.
National Take Back the Lunch Day is June 21
In response, we established a national day called Take Back the Lunch Break Day—a day now celebrated annually across the U.S. on the third Friday of June. Its goal is to help improve workplace morale, satisfaction and productivity by encouraging employees and educating employers about the importance of stepping away for lunch.
Although this day was created by our Tork team, Essity as a company, believes that our employees should be taking lunch breaks—real lunch breaks away from their desk.
“Mini-breaks and lunch breaks at work positively affect health” I also recently talked with Eddie Haaz, a board-certified medical psychotherapist who specializes in workplace health and behavior and has previously consulted with Essity. He said that when we take regular mini-breaks at work, especially lunch breaks away from our desk, it positively affects our health—both physically and mentally.
Eddie said the ideal lunchtime trifecta for work is
1) eating a healthy lunch
2) lunching away from your desk
3) lunching with others.
“Physically, nourishing your body with lunch helps level out your blood sugar and revs up your metabolism, keeping you focused and productive,” he said. “Data also shows that getting up from your desk, switching your environment and then returning, gives you a fresher mental perspective on a problem or task. Finally, when you lunch with others, especially socially, your brain releases endorphins and restorative hormones that can refresh your mind and promote creativity.”
The takeaway from Tork’s research and Eddie’s insights: While employees may think that they’re doing themselves a favor by working through or taking very little of what is meant to be their lunch break, they’re actually missing out on major benefits by not taking some time away from their desk each day.
That’s why Essity North America pledges to actively encourage our employees to stop and take a break for lunch. Why? Because we know that our employees are our strongest asset and we care about their well-being.
Join us in the movement: Encourage your workforce to make it a priority to step away for lunch on National Take Back the Lunch Break Day on June 21, 2019 – and every day!
- Fred Albrecht is North American Human Resources Director for Essity.