Bon appétit! Lunch@Work.
By Christa Schwandtner, 21.03.2019
Everybody who works should take a break from time to time. This is even required by law. In Austria, anyone working more than six hours a day is entitled to a break of at least half an hour. This time is usually set aside for lunch – but are these breaks being used efficiently?
According to a survey conducted by Stepstone in the autumn of 2018, about 50% of all Austrians do not leave their office building at lunchtime. Irrespective of whether employees warm up their lunch in the kitchenette or eat in the canteen, it is imperative that food is not consumed alone in the darkest corner of the break room or – worse still – in front of the computer. Let’s be honest: While you are hastily eating leftover pasta bake from the day before surrounded by your laptop and files, you are simultaneously checking your emails or answering telephone calls. This is not what switching off and regenerating looks like – not to mention professional behaviour.
Lunch as a social happening
Having lunch with your colleagues opens up a whole range of new possibilities – even for your career 😉 Transform your lunch break into a social happening. What works with customers during business lunches also works with your colleagues: having pleasant conversations and networking. Getting to know your colleagues better over lunch improves the working atmosphere and thus strengthens future cooperation. Be bold and join colleagues you barely know or don’t know at all for lunch. Making new contacts within the company opens up new doors. Use common break rooms or go out for a meal and take time to get to know your colleagues. Take care, however, to talk about work as little as possible. A quick chat about the last company party? Sure, go for it! Going on a half-hour ranting spree about delays in an ongoing project? A complete no-go!
Speaking of spending time outside the company – you don’t always have to have a big lunch together. In many cases, preparing a small packed lunch such as fresh wholemeal bread with some veggies and ham or cheese and going outdoors into the fresh air is all you need. Go for a short stroll with your colleagues – a “walk-and-talk lunch”. This gives you the opportunity to make efficient use of your 30-minute break: you get some exercise, you automatically eat your lunch more slowly and you get the chance to have relaxed chats with your colleagues.