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Lunch hour ditched for shorter break

The hour long lunch break is a thing of the past with British office workers taking just 34 minutes according to a new survey

The study was commissioned by money saving site which asked office employees to state how long, on average, they took for lunch.

The times were put together and the mean was found, which came out as just 34 and a half minutes.

Questioned on why they didn't take the allotted hour, many claimed pressure to perform in the workplace was their reason for heading back to the office early.

Almost three quarters, 72%, claimed they were too busy to take the full hour saying if they didn't cut short their lunch hour they would end up staying late.

A hard working 63% believed that if they took the time allotted to them, it would reflect badly on them and hamper their chances of progression within the company.

A colleague conscious 62% said their co-workers never took the full hour so didn't feel comfortable taking it themselves unless they really needed to.

For some, location of the office was a reason for cutting the break short, with over a quarter, 27%, saying they were based out of town so there was no where to go.

In contrast, 21% claimed they were so close to a sandwich shop that they really didn't need an hour to buy and eat lunch.

Just under a quarter, 24% admitted there were no communal areas in their office so they tended to eat at their desk and work at the same time.

For the 19% that took their own lunch in, they said they had no need to pop out every day so would stay in the office.

One office worker said: "I'm so busy at work that I really cant justify taking a whole hours break in the middle of the day. By working through most of my lunch, I can get away almost at the right time and not be in the office late into the evening. A lot of my colleagues have the same attitude and its very rare that we take the allocated hour for lunch."

Another commented: "I always try to get out of the office at lunchtime, even if its just for a walk round the block. When you're sat at a desk in front of a screen you do need 20 minutes to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. I find it re-energises me ready for the afternoon and ready to face the challenges in front of me."

A spokesperson for said: "It is important to take a break in the middle of the day, if only to stretch your legs, have a change of scenery and get away from your computer screen.

Just a short break will give you time to clear your head and plan what you need to achieve during the afternoon. Having a break doesn't always mean heading out of the office for an hour there's nothing wrong with finding a quiet corner and flicking through a magazine. Anything to take your mind off work just for a short time."



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