Do you eat at your desk? You’re not alone
How do you spend your lunch hour?
Updated: May 3, 2012 3:44PM
“We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well and live.’’
A great line from a great movie — “Ben-Hur.” In this scene, the admiral of the Roman war fleet barks out his mission statement to the chained-to-their-oar galley slaves.
That mission statement popped into my mind when I read about a recent survey from a business consultant firm called Right Management. The survey found that 65 percent of American workers either no longer take a lunch break or eat at their desks.
Of course, it is totally unfair to compare today’s American worker to a galley slave.
Galley slaves don’t have a choice.
American workers probably aren’t told they can’t take a lunch break. That might be illegal. They just have a lot of work to do.
Businesses are making do with the employees left after earlier layoffs. So, each remaining employee has to work harder. More work has to be done within the same work day.
Something has to give.
And that, apparently, is lunch.
I can’t imagine that people would prefer not to have a lunch break. But, they want to do a good job. If they don’t do the job, someone else will.
What’s kind of sad is that employers let this happen. If 65 percent of workers don’t take a lunch break, then 65 percent of employers don’t mind that their employees get no lunch break.
And lunch breaks are good — for the worker and the employer.
Studies show that workers who take a lunch break are more productive because they rest up a bit at lunch. They also are healthier. Taking a lunch break relieves stress. And workers on break may eat healthier food.
Aren’t healthier, more productive employees good for business?
And if, as human beings, we can help someone be healthier and have less stress, aren’t we obligated to do so?
We don’t want to be Roman admirals, do we?
But, perhaps I’ve got it all wrong.
Maybe people just don’t want to take a lunch break.
I’d be interested in knowing.
Do you take a lunch break?
Why or why not?