Whether you’re at the office or working from home, the lunch “hour” is hardly a real reprieve. Most of us quickly scarf down a salad to maximize our daily output. In fact, a study by OfficeTeam, an administrative staffing company, found that 56 percent of employees who can take an hour for lunch actually take less than 30 minutes—and almost one-third admit to working while they eat.
If you’re worried that your new, solitary lunch isn’t quite the same break as grabbing a bite with colleagues, don’t: a November 2019 study by the Yale School of Management found that those who ate lunch with coworkers were as fatigued by day’s end as those who worked through lunch, while those who ate lunch by themselves were the most relaxed. So, step away from your computer and ditch the deskside dining. Here’s why career, wellness and productivity experts say uninterrupted lunch breaks are a necessity—not a guilt-inducing luxury.