Why You Should be Pushing your Employees to Take a Lunch Break

Most offices are a hive of activity, and the sales floor of a recruitment agency is no exception to this. With everyone trying to make those all-important placements and get their names on the billing list, it’s no surprise that more than 50% of workers are not taking a proper lunch break – whether this be working through the hour entirely, eating at their desk whilst continuing to work or taking only half of their allotted time. Whatever the reason may be for this, it has been proven that employees who do not take their allotted breaks become less productive and it can have a long-lasting damaging effects to their health and wellbeing (as well as potentially breaching the Working Time Regulations.) Though it takes away time for making sales, there are several reasons why you should be encouraging your staff to take their full break allowance each day.

 

FEEDING THE BRAIN FEEDS THE BILLINGS

It may seem quite obvious, but having something to eat at lunchtime is really important in helping your staff be on the top of their game and keeping productivity levels high. Skipping lunch has an adverse affect on your nutrition, particularly your glucose levels, and will have a knock on effect on your performance for the rest of the afternoon.  Foods such as nuts, seeds, wholegrains, carrots and blueberries have proven to have a really positive effect on the brain and therefore will give your staff that extra boost throughout the day. Obviously it is not up to you as a boss to dictate to your staff about what they should be eating, but perhaps having a bowl of fresh fruit available in the office would be a good way to encourage employees to feed their brains and become a powerhouse of productivity.

 

STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREENS

These days most of our time is spent looking at screens, whether this be computers, laptops, phones or tablets – especially for recruiters searching the internet/ internal databases for their next candidate. Spending several hours each day glued to your screens can have a really bad effect on your eyes, general well-being and your ability to concentrate. It’s recommended by the HSE that you should take a 5-10 minute ‘eye break’ from your computer after each hour spent in front of it. This is not always practical and may not fit into your working day, and thus taking a longer period of time away from your screens during your lunch break is the simple solution.

 

CONCENTRATION EQUALS COMMISSION

As a recruiter managing several clients and candidates at any one time, you need to be able to fully concentrate and be firing on all pistons throughout your day. Spending your entire day in the office and staying at your desk to have lunch can often mean that other working colleagues will interrupt you which can only further take away from the break you are supposed to having. Furthermore, with a constant stream of emails and phone calls coming through as well, it’s likely that you may feel more inclined to answer these straight away if you’re still sitting at your desk rather than taking a proper break away. All of these seemingly small interruptions can have an adverse effect on both your general mood and levels of concentration throughout the afternoon.

Whilst it can seem trivial, especially when you’re having a particularly busy/ stressful day, it is imperative that your employees are taking a proper break. In 2015, it was reported that 27% of people that don’t take a lunch break do so in order to please their boss. This statistic, coupled with the fact that 75% of people take shorter breaks whilst they are still within their probation period, really do show that you can have an impact on your employees when it comes to them walking away from the desk. It may be a good idea to try and take a note about who is consistently working through their given breaks, and then making the effort to help them rectify it as this really could make a big difference.