Friday, October 11, 2013

Should employees work through lunch?

Based on a recent study, you may need to provide office workstations with enough room for staff members to consume lunch. University of Toronto researchers have come to the conclusion that working during lunch and eating at the desk may not be harmful for employees.

"We found that a critical element was having the freedom to choose whether to do it or not," said John Trougakos, an associate professor of organizational behavior at University of Toronto and co-author of the study. "The autonomy aspect helps to offset what we had traditionally thought was not a good way to spend break time."

In the study, researchers asked employees what they did during lunch within a 10-day period. Then, they asked the participant's colleagues how tired they felt their co-workers seemed to be after lunch, according to Mother Nature Network. Researchers determined when given the choice to head out for a lunch break or consume a meal during work hours, employees who made the decision themselves were less stressed.

Among the reasons that some employees felt stressed about relaxing at work during lunchtime was the constant need to make a good impression. Continuous talk about business-related issues like a new client or deadline also seemed to stress workers. 

Based on this study, you may want to consider custom office workstations to design employee desks so they have ample space to finish lunch and a report at the same time. Given the choice to take a lunch and perhaps a custom office workstation, employee productivity and happiness can increase.

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