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    5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2008 12:43 PM by puzzleman

    Lunch breaks a thing of the past?

    caffeinated Scout
      "The 24/7 workplace features so many e-mails, deadlines, and employees conferencing with colleagues and customers in other time zones that the lunch break may be as threatened as the polar bear" -OfficeTeam

      Do you find this to be true? For those Community members that manage employees, do you encourage them to take a lunch?
        • Re: Lunch breaks a thing of the past?
          oldtimer Newbie
          For what its worth from an "oldtimer" lunch breaks should be encouraged imo. I have seen over the years a general decline in workers attitudes in many work environments as a result of workers and employers persistent attempt striving to increase productivity. It only works for so long until people burn out. Sometimes burn out is very hard to recognize. Employers many times are so wound up with managing their business units that they are in a sense attempting to interact with employees , with blinders on. The victims employees aren't even aware they are afflicted. There are obviously many other factors that contribute to poor attitude and burn out in employees. My experience 39 years in various businesses has taught me that some things you just don't mess with and imo employees time away from their job, while on the job , is most valuable time. keep the faith, oldtimer
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          • Re: Lunch breaks a thing of the past?
            Iwrite Pioneer
            Most definitely.

            Creatives need to disengage and recharge. I encourage people on the team I work on to get out of the building and take a break. I don't think people sitting at their desk trying to force ideas to come is the best way to work, not for an advertising agency. Please notice that I am talking about advertising agencies. The project I am working on now has a room for meditation, a room with massage chairs and other break areas designed to let people get away from it all. Do people use them every day? No, but they do when they need a break.

            This last week has been really difficult for a couple of people on the team. I personally walked each one to the massage chairs for some much deserve relaxation. If we work late, meals are provided. And when we are slow and they have worked like they have the last couple of weeks, I try to send them home early so that they can have as much family time as possible with pay or give them an extra day off. It seems to make a difference for the people I work with. If they are here late, I am here late.

            How I do things will more than likely not work for everyone else.
            • Re: Lunch breaks a thing of the past?
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              The vanishing lunch break phenomenon is not occurring in union settings (about one-fourth of the non-exempt workers in the U.S. are guaranteed lunch and break times as part of a labor contract). I think it is a more common occurrence in certain professional and high-tech jobs, where greater flexibility has been introduced into all aspects of the employment relationship (and when/if someone goes to lunch is just one aspect of that flexibility).

              Also, eating habits in general have changed in this country. Years ago (when there were fewer single parents and working moms) more families had a sit-down breakfast, more kids brought their lunch to school or ate in a cafeteria at a set time, and most evening activities were scheduled around a period that nearly everyone allotted for family dinner. Today, there is more going on in people's lives. The newest high school cafeterias (at least in my area) will only accommodate about 10 to 20 percent of the student population, and there are still plenty of empty tables at lunch (students are doing other things). So I think many of today's workers grew up learning to grab a quick meal or snack between extra-curricular activities. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the majority (57 percent) of adolescents now eat five or fewer meals each week (out of a possible 21) with a parent. (The study also found that the higher the parent's income, the more likely it is that never eat a meal together as a family.)

              The vanishing lunch break may be more a part of an overall cultural/social trend than a workplace or employment issue. Interesting topic, however . . .

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              • Re: Lunch breaks a thing of the past?
                puzzleman Tracker
                Lunch breaks are definitely something to still do. the employee can take lunch or do whatever they want during that time. I have worked at a place that the employees played stickball during lunch (they actually had a four team league). Everybody enjoyed that activity. People ate their lunch during work hours with no loss of productivity but that time away was worth it.