There’s a pretty common policy in corporate America that I hate – the one hour lunch. I don’t get it.
There are a few things implicitly long with this standard, and, to some extent, the 30 minute version as well.
- The 1-hour lunch is an implication that we need a hefty break from our jobs. If you enjoy your job, why take a break? Get it all done, now. Taking a “break” implies that what you were doing was something of rigor or dislike. Your job shouldn’t be – if it is, quit.
- It’s excessive. Yes, we do need to eat, but we don’t need an hour to do so. It takes ten minutes to eat if you have the food in your office. It’s possible to do passive work, i.e. read up on relevant news and/or read something useful, while eating as well. I’m okay with taking 30 minutes to go get some food you particularly enjoy, but you are very capable of doing this on your way to work without losing transportation time.
If you’re not using this time in a productive fashion, you’re wasting your day. I am perfectly okay with “doing lunch” as a way to talk business or develop relationships, but when that isn’t happening, and you’re just sitting at a table reading the Sports page, someone else is getting ahead.
Do something that’s going to make a difference, somewhere. You should be able to find something that you both enjoy AND creates something of value. If you can’t, you need to reevaluate your life.
I know it’s a government requirement to take a lunch – however, it’s not a government requirement that you leave and go smoke a cigarette. Clock out and work on your personal project. Pump out a chapter of that book, develop some business relationships online, or run to the gym to get your workout in, now.
A wasted hour every day five days a week fifty-two weeks a year forty years straight adds up to a lot of damn waste. Don’t be wasteful, please. The world deserves better.