You want to get more work done? Take longer lunches

If you’re feeling tired and fatigued at work, chances are you don’t belong to the 28% of Aussie workers who take full advantage of their designated lunch break. 

Based on interviews with over 1,200 professionals, the latest survey by recruitment expert Hays reveals only 28% of people take their full lunch break on most days, 25% take around three quarters, 22% take half, 18% take one quarter, and 7% never take a break at all. This is despite 93% of respondents recognising that their productivity benefits from out-of-office lunchtime breaks.

To remain fresh and alert at work, 65% leave their desk to grab lunch, 56% take 5-minute breaks for fresh air, 50% go for a lunchtime break from devices, 44% minimise eye fatigue such as looking away from the computer screen at regular intervals, 41% gently stretch at their desk, 37% listen to music, 36% exercises during lunchtime, 33% regularly eat small, healthy snacks or meals, and 20% meditate or practice mindfulness.

“People often believe they’re too busy or their to-do list is too long to be able to step out,” Hays Australia and New Zealand managing director Nick Deligiannis said in a statement. “But we don’t always need to be available at our desk. We can step away to eat and take a break.”   

According to Deligiannis, other benefits of taking a break include avoiding the 3 p.m. slump, improving afternoon productivity, and boosting one’s attention span.

Leaving devices at the desk can keep one fresh and alert as well. “Technology has blurred the lines between work and life, giving us a constant connection to work,” Deligiannis said.

“It’s important to put down tools and step away from our devices during break times. Go for a walk to stretch your legs or sit in a nearby park. You’ll notice the difference in your improved level of productivity.”