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Fast Company: This is how you should be spending your lunch break

13 Dec 2022
Taking a lunch break is important for reducing burnout. But it also depends on how you spend it.

Originally found at Fast Company

When it comes to finding work/life balance, you probably focus on after-work activities that can help you replenish your energy. Feeling more refreshed, however, can start at lunch. According to study published in the Academy of Management, a good lunch break is an essential way to rest and recharge for the second half of the day.

However, what you do with your time matters. Researchers found that engaging in relaxing activities during lunch aids in energy recovery, while working through lunch or even socializing can yield suboptimal recovery outcomes.

A key factor in feeling refreshed is autonomy. Having the freedom to choose how to spend the time was the dominant factor in how restful the employees’ lunches were. For example, when an employee chooses to spend time talking to others, the negative effects were offset.


“Lunch breaks should be restorative experiences,” says Dr. Ken Matos, director of people science at the employee experience platform Culture Amp. “For a more introverted person that might mean getting away from the office and colleagues long enough to refuel. For an extravert that would be finding ways to connect with people, possibly through a visit to a break or lunch area or kitchen.”

The right thing to do will also be influenced by what you do all morning, Matos adds. “Even some extraverts might decide to have a solo lunch if they have been on the phone or Zoom all day,” he says.  “If you work from home and are seeking social contact, you may need to plan ahead to arrange a lunch date, virtual or in-person.”

Continue reading the original article at Fast Company.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

Read the  Academy of Management Insights summary.

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