Lunch Break Houdini in New York City

NPR reports that the American lunch break is disappearing. With longer work hours, the standard 9-5 is a thing of the past and so is going outYoung business woman eating sandwich on workplace. to lunch.
Research suggests that the internal need to feel available to employers/co-workers at all times is a key reason why only 1 in 5 Americans are leaving the office for a midday meal.
And although you may think this dedication to career would be good for New York City business, recent studies are suggesting that the opposite may be true. That in fact staying longer at your desk, without a break, may decreases productivity and hurt the bottom line.
According to Kimberly Elsbach, a professor at the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management, who studies workplace psychology, “we know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment…so staying inside in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking. It’s also detrimental to doing the rumination that’s needed for ideas to percolate and gestate and allow a person to arrive at an ‘aha’ moment.”
Studies also suggest that taking time off in the middle of the day to eat, walk or take a coffee break with coworkers can create a culture of community within the workplace, creating happier more productive employees.
Not sure what to do with this information? Here are a couple of suggestions to make break time, productive time for your company:
Continental Breakfast1. Create a safe environment for breaks to take place in a community setting. In her interview on Here & Now, a show produced on NPR, Elsbach suggests setting up an online forum where you say, ‘OK, these are the different activities we’re doing. There’s one group that’s going to meet and eat sack lunch outside. There’s another group that’s going to go for a walk around the local environment. There’s another group that’s going to go to a favorite restaurant.’ And so you create community around it, and you’re not doing it by yourself and being seen as the odd person out. … You need to get the top managers to be part of this community of taking time off in the middle of the day to eat lunch, to go for a walk, to have a coffee break. They need to be included in the community and model that behavior for the rest of the workforce.
2. Rejuvenate your break room. Although a walk outside can be beneficial, too much of a good thing can in fact be a bad thing when short Man With Saladbreaks turn in to extended time away from the office. Create a sense of community by creating a better break space. Fit your break room with games (ping pong, foosball, pin ball, etc.), comfortable lounges, quality coffee (the most affordable employee benefit with the biggest perceived value), and healthy snacks and beverages in your vending machines (or better yet, offered for free as an additional benefit). And if possible bring some of the outdoors inside with potted plants, big windows or natural scenery wall murals.
Regardless of what you decide to do, encourage your employees to get away from their desks – whether that’s a walk around the block or a ping pong tournament in your break room is up to you.
If you do decide to makeover your New York City break room, give us a call. One of our team members will be happy to discuss how our coffee, traditional and free vend services can help increase your company’s bottom line by getting employees away from their desks, but not for too long. Call Champion Vending today at (800) 558-5450.

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