Taking a New Look at the Lunch Break and Work-Life Balance
Are your finance employees who lunch alone doing so because that’s their preference?
Maybe not. A recent survey from Accountemps, a Robert Half company, of finance professionals found that while nearly half (49 percent) of all respondents spend their lunches alone, 46 percent say they would actually like to share a meal with coworkers.
Maybe what they need is a gentle push — from you. Sharing a midday meal with coworkers could be something that improves your team’s work-life balance.
And not only that. Many good things happen when teams, including the boss, take breaks together. Here are some:
- Deeper work relationships
- Better collaboration
- Sharing ideas and best practices
- Helping each other solve problems
- Allowing new employees to get up to speed faster
- Lower stress
- Greater job satisfaction
- Improved physical and mental health
As a payroll manager, you set the tone for your team. If you work through your lunch break and rarely leave your desk, your staff will receive the not-so-subtle message to do likewise. Instead, promote working smarter, not harder. Cultivate a work environment that builds in downtime and collegiality throughout the day, including a full lunch break with fellow finance specialists. Here are some ideas:
- Take a full lunch break away from your desk. It doesn’t have to be daily if you have pressing work and deadlines looming, but make it often enough so employees see that it’s perfectly acceptable to take a full lunch break.
- Make the break room a welcoming place for eating and chatting.
- Treat your staff to a group lunch every so often to share ideas and frustrations and to promote bonding.
- Invite a few colleagues out to lunch once a month or so to get to know them better.
So resist the temptation to eat at your desk while finishing a report or analyzing a spreadsheet. Take a much-needed lunch break with colleagues, and encourage your payroll staff to do the same. The team that eats together works better together.
Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps has more than 340 locations worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at accountemps.com.