Lunch Break: Get Playing

Envision featured on The Office Professional

Submitted by Beth Braccio Hering on Wed, 07/18/2012 – 11:00am

This article is the third in a series on actual workers who use their lunch break for more than checking Facebook or (please, no) catching up on work. If you missed earlier installments, check out Lunch Break: Get Moving and Lunch Break: Get Eating.

Remember in grade school how much you looked forward to lunch and recess? It was a chance to get up, get social, and have fun. Somewhere along the line, though, many of us started viewing our well-earned time to relax as an unnecessary luxury. (Try explaining the reasons for this to any 7-year-old and you’ll really feel stupid.)

Truth be told, however, time away from work to do something enjoyable can make you a happier, more productive employee. A mental break can leave you refreshed and ready to conquer the rest of the day.

Just ask Christian Hunter of Studiothink, who is known to recharge by going to his car to practice the bagpipes. “Of course, I can’t play the full instrument in such a tight space, so I just practice on the chanter, which is much quieter, and not the full bag. I lead a very hectic lifestyle, so this is mainly my only time to practice, and although it’s strange, it keeps me up to par with my band and makes me more alert after lunch.”

Lana Grey of GrammarBase used to be skeptical about organizations that encouraged their employees to play. “I thought those companies were crazy and not successful; I mean how would the company be able to get their employee to work after having some fun?” Her opinion changed this past year after moving to a company that features an activity room. During a difficult week, she agreed to a 10-minute game of foosball with a co-worker. “It was just what I needed. After that game, I felt more energized and happier about my work. It was the best medicine for my mind. I was able to pay attention to the work and give it my all — and complete that task sooner than the deadline.”

And harkening back to schooldays when some of us went home for lunch and watched cartoons while eating our peanut butter sandwich, employees of Envision Creative Group get together to watch “Mad Men.” (Check them out in the picture above striking their best “Mad Women and Man” pose.) “We are in the creative industry and find it especially fascinating,” says Jetté Momant. “Although we don’t have boozy bourbon lunch meetings, we do often have margarita Friday’s at the office.”