Take Back Your Lunch Break

By Donna Farrugia, Executive Director of The Creative Group

Think back to the last work week. How many of those days did you actually get outside the office (or even away from your desk) for your lunch break? I’m betting that if you’re like many in-house professionals, you spent most days scarfing down a sandwich or salad at your desk so you could get more work done during the noon-hour.


I’ll be the first to admit it’s a common occurrence for me. My busy travel schedule makes it hard to establish a routine where I get an hour (or even 30 minutes) to myself during the day. But I can tell you that when I do have time to enjoy a sit-down lunch or short walk, I take it – and research shows that’s a good thing.


More than four in 10 advertising and marketing executives surveyed by The Creative Group said leaving the office during their lunch break makes them more productive. Further, when asked to describe the best activity for stimulating creative thinking at work, professionals cited “stepping away from your desk,” second only to brainstorming with colleagues.

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In today’s workplace, it’s not uncommon for lunch breaks to take a back seat to on-the-job tasks. But in-house creatives need time away from their desks to recharge and remain productive. Following are four tips to help ensure you take yours:

  1. Plan your day. Schedule your break to fall between projects, if possible, and set morning deadlines for important tasks so you can relax over lunch.
  2. Schedule an outing with colleagues. During a busy period, change a team meeting to a working lunch outside the office. The time away will improve your energy while maintaining productivity.
  3. Step away from your desk. If you are unable to leave the building for lunch, take a walk around the office. If possible, eat in a common area with colleagues.
  4. Put work aside. If you have to be near your computer or phone, face your chair away and do a nonwork activity, such as reading a book or magazine.

Donna Farrugia is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design and marketing professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at creativegroup.com