It seems that the injunction—real or perceived—to do more with less is having an impact on the lunch break.
According to this item from LiveScience, fewer people than before are taking their lunch breaks, with a concomitant effect on their performance.
I acknowledge that I haven’t worked in a formal organizational setting for a very long time, but even when I did so for several aerospace contractors supporting NASA, lunchtime was my own. I could eat or not; read, nap, just zone out—it didn’t matter. It was my time, and everyone knew it. Similarly, most of my colleagues also looked upon their lunch break as just that—a break.
Given the now long-term expectation of 24/7 connectedness, I’m not at all surprised to see this as an increasing trend. But is it a good thing?
Questions: Do you take a bona fide lunch break? Are you expected to be at your desk (or, for that matter, available) at all times? If so, and you don’t like it, what do you do to assert yourself? How about asserting yourself under other circumstances or in other environments? What is the cost, whether you do or you don’t?