Many companies want to cram in as much week as they can during a day. But, there are disadvantages to this too. Being in too much of a hurry and not breaking enough can lead to increased stress and distracted work behavior which is very detrimental to output.
Workers who take a quick lunch break and work almost eight hours straight become very distracted. Many of them surf the web at work, or are just in a state of mental chaos. Many articles about work behavior that I have read stress the importance of taking breaks. After 51 minutes of mentally intensive work you should take a break according to one article I read. For repetitive tasks, the breaking schedule might be less critical, however, repetitive tasks can dull your mind making you less capable when you have a thinking task.
Taking a lunch break is a great time for workers to catch up on Facebook, emails and other social media. If you don’t give them an opportunity to catch up, they will probably doing it on the clock which is bad for your work schedule.
Personally, I feel that the American work ethic is based on being in too much of a hurry, being too demanding, and not replenishing yourself. Additionally, American workers are very disengaged which exacerbates the situation making them even more distracted. A long lunch hour allows people to mingle with others, make new friends, try new restaurants, and refresh their brains while out of the office for an extended period of time. I feel that having a two or three hours lunch break is not a bad idea if you are willing to stay late and if you are not going to miss any critical phone calls or meetings.
However, what if you answer calls during lunch? What if you take your work with you? You are still replenishing since you are out of the office. You could still have that ten minute power discussion with your supplier. Most people would say, “Sorry, I can’t talk now because I’m at lunch.” Then, when you get them at work, “Sorry, she is on another call.” You might have to try six times to reach someone. What a pain. But, by being willing to take meaningful calls, you would afford yourself the opportunity to take long lunches and still be productive and available!
Long lunch breaks are common in France and other European countries. They add a sense of culture and meaning to life which Americans will never have. My personal habit is to have a very quick lunch, but a very lazy dinner. Perhaps, I should have a nice mid-day break. But, I’m always behind the eight-ball with work. Maybe I need to find a way to be ahead on work and then have a more flexible schedule…
I would write more, but it is time for my lengthy dinner break! After I return, I’m going to work until 1am!