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Lunch Breaks Under Threat

Lunch Box for Work

Michele B |

The days of clocking off for an hour to take a break and grab some food look like they could be numbered. More than seven workers in ten are no longer taking their full lunch hour, with the average Brit only managing 31 minutes before heading back.

Worse, figures from jobs site Glassdoor show almost one person in four (23%) spends their lunch break at their desk to catch up on work.

Some 25% of employees say they cut short their lunch break because they're scared they'll fall behind at their work, while 18% feel they have to work through their lunch break because everyone else at work does.

“The lunch hour is becoming a thing of the past and fewer people have the time or the inclination to take a long lunch break anymore," said John Lamphiere from Glassdoor.

"Many employees grab half an hour and they use that time to work, shop, go online, play games, run errands or exercise. Eating lunch is squeezed in there somewhere.”

A Better Way
Rather than taking an hour for lunch - that most people cut short anyway - 40% of employees said they'd rather have reduced working hours overall

Almost as many (35%) would prefer to be able to have a break whenever they wanted, and 24% said they'd rather have a higher rate of pay and fewer breaks.

Employers are less convinced, though. Fewer than one person in three (31%) said their company was flexible and happy for them to take a break when they need to and half as many again (16%) said they get to choose how long they take for lunch and when they take it.

“It seems like greater flexibility in working hours or higher pay would be far more preferable to most employees than a traditional hour-long lunch break," Lamphiere said.

"Employers can tap into this desire for flexibility by having an adjustable policy when it comes to taking breaks and general working hours. Every employee is different, but if someone wants to work through lunch to leave early on occasion, then managers can generate a lot of goodwill by being open to these types of requests.”


Original article by James Andrews appears on The Mirror.
Photo courtesy of Adobe



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