Corporate Culture

Research Reveals Staffs Taking Genuine Lunch Breaks Boost Productivity by 90%

Three studies showed that taking a break has a positive impact, particularly on job satisfaction, effectiveness, mental focus, and overall productivity.

Forbes, referencing Tork research, indicates that employees who incorporate lunch breaks are inclined to experience higher job satisfaction. The study further reveals that these individuals are more likely to express a sense of effectiveness and efficiency. In alignment with this, Inc. highlights a consensus, with 91% of employees and 93% of employers agreeing on the significance of breaks for sustaining mental focus. Additionally, a 2019 survey revealed that 74% of respondents in the United States consistently take lunch breaks, while 26% adjust the duration based on the length of their shifts.

The work-hard mindset has both its own good and bad sides. While it can produce good work, resting could produce even better quality work. What is even better is that you can get a lot more work done when you are well rested. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of the book “Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, says, “Rest is an essential component of working well and working smart,” as stated in a Greater Good Magazine op-ed. She also added that the brain is still active while resting, engaging in problem solving, thinking creative and seeking new information.

So, what does it mean to have genuine lunch breaks? The meaning could differ according to each individual. Generally, it is to clear both the mind and body. It could mean taking some fresh air outside of the office, which is one of the ways to do so. By going outside, employees could come in with better ideas, sharper focus and new perspectives due to a relaxed mental state.

Lunch breaks can also be seen as a form of rest for some people. However, resting is better done by taking regular breaks, which have been shown to boost productivity. While it seems counterintuitive, when you take regular breaks, logically, your energy will be replenished. This could significantly improve focus and reduce stress levels.

The evidence from multiple studies, as highlighted by Forbes, Tork Research, Inc., and a 2019 survey, underscores the positive impact of taking breaks on various aspects of work life, from job satisfaction to mental focus and overall productivity. The concept that true productivity is cultivated through strategic resting challenges the prevailing notion that continuous hard work yields optimal results. Alex Soojung-Kim Pang’s insight, as shared in a Greater Good Magazine op-ed, further reinforces the idea that rest is not merely idleness but an essential component for working well and smartly.

Embracing real lunch breaks goes beyond a physical pause; it’s about clearing both the mind and body, fostering creativity, and gaining fresh perspectives. Whether it involves stepping outside for a breath of fresh air or simply allowing the brain to engage in problem-solving while at rest, the true essence of lunch breaks lies in rejuvenation, ultimately contributing to a more productive and fulfilling work environment.

Hence, businesses with a more flexible culture will be those who are willing to make this shift. Adopting a culture that values breaks—particularly lunch breaks—corresponds with a wider understanding of the connection between rest and productivity, as well as research showing increased job satisfaction and productivity.

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