Gimme a break

If your city center is like mine, lunchtime is a hazardous game of Evade the Vespa. Every weekday, around 11:30, thousands of scooter riders dodge traffic to deliver lunch.

Lunch?

Yes. Last year, 433 million fewer butts planted themselves in restaurant chairs for their midday meals, which people still ate, meaning we ordered in. All that desk eating hurt the dine in restaurant industry, and may also be hurting the wellness and productivity of the dine in eaters.*

If we’re cutting back on restaurant visits to save $100 per week (lunch prices—yikes!) or 1,200 calories per day (lunch portions—wow!), that’s probably the right thing to do. Taking care of one’s budget and body are ethical choices.

But it turns out that “no time” keeps more people eating at their desks. What’s that say about a work culture where people cannot take a break? Evidence strongly suggests that skipping breaks leaves people more stressed, tired, grumpy, and less creative, productive, and satisfied.

Questions for The Ethics Award

  1. What’s your organizational culture look like at lunchtime?
  2. How do you encourage workers to take breaks and refresh?
  3. How do you measure peoples’ workloads?

*Source: Wall Street Journal