Have a KitKat!


I recently stumbled across an article on ‘The HR Grapevine’ that made the bold statement: ‘37% of HR professionals take 15 minutes or less for lunch per day and almost 17% take no lunch break at all’. The survey found that HR workers are more likely to spend their lunchtime at their desk than the average worker, with only procurement & supply chain and legal professionals coming higher.

Does this resonate with you?

I know as an HR practitioner myself, somewhere along the line it has been engrained in me that I must be available to support management at every moment of the day. One colleague once said to me: “The moment I am not there and available ‘they’ do something daft.” In a large number of instances this availability mantra has even surpassed the working day, extending itself to phone calls in the evening and pretty much living on a blackberry over a weekend! Sound familiar…?

I am sure that many of you, like me, have lost count of the number of times we have advised managers about the importance of flexible working, work/life balance, ensuring regular breaks are taken etc. which is ironic really if you take a moment to reflect on it. In what other walk of life would you preach something and then do the complete opposite? Why do we do this?

My colleague Jeannette recently wrote the “Be loud, be proud” blog about HR practitioners’ inability to shout about our success and that of our colleagues. I also recently wrote about the importance of our employees’ health and wellbeing and how by improving that we can improve the health of the population. There is a theme here. What is it that makes us as HR practitioners be hard on ourselves when actually we are best placed to lead by example as to how employees should be treated and we are best placed to have the skills to ensure this happens?

It could be argued that we have become advocates of presenteeism and it needs to change.

So, my pledge for the next month is to be a bit bold. I am going to commit to taking a one-hour lunch break away from my desk, twice a week, every week for 4 weeks. Who else is going to join me? Have a break, go ahead, treat yourself, even have a KitKat!

Richard Edge, HR & Workforce Consultant at Ara Darzi Qatar Ltd / Primary Health Care Corporation
 

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