Do you want to build skills in addition to what you develop in your job, but feel tired or unmotivated after a long day at the office? While at work, do you seek variety in activities or tasks to maintain your interest and energy throughout the day? These reasons – plus countless more – are arguments for why you should make the most of your lunch hour. A free hour in the middle of the day could be used for so much more than eating lunch in a cafeteria – though simply taking a break has its benefits, too!
Sign up for a webinar or live chat during lunch
You don’t have to travel far to learn something new: this can take place right at your desk. Sign up for a webinar that relates to your skills development, professional interests or career advancement. Webinars are often interactive, so prepare a few questions in advance for a potential Q&A session via a typed chat or headset exchange.
A webinar is a great option to incorporate into lunchtime, as most do not last longer than an hour, are often scheduled during lunch to accommodate the busy schedules of professionals, and are frequently low-cost or sometimes even free.
Get up and move
Many contemporary workplaces support the physical health of their employees by offering workplace wellness strategies and encouraging employees to stay active throughout the day. Foster your own wellness by heading to a local gym for a midday workout or a lunchtime fitness class.
If you do not have access to a nearby gym, take a walk instead. Go outside to breathe some fresh air, or walk around your building in the wintertime. Regardless of where or how you move, the health benefits of getting up out of your chair in the middle of the day are manifold.
Invite a client, colleague or partner out to lunch
Building professional relationships is essential in any successful career. Invite a client, partner or colleague out to lunch – somewhere outside of the office.
Meeting at a restaurant or café instead of at the office may seem like a simple setting change, but the context can mean so much more. In the office, the focus of the conversation is often on a designated meeting topic or objective. An alternative location, however, often invites more open discussion – whether about ideas, future plans, or personal or professional interests. Such discussion enables expanding and strengthening a relationship.
Lunch and Learn
We’ve written about Lunch and Learn sessions before, but their value is worth emphasizing. For managers, organizing Lunch and Learns provide excellent opportunities to engage your staff and strengthen their morale and skill set; for attendees, Lunch and Learns can be an avenue for self-development and interaction with colleagues or new people.
There are so many ways that you could take an average lunch hour and transform it into an opportunity for growth and development. However, sometimes a simple break during a busy day is the best option to refresh your focus, so find the balance that works for you!