What is the importance of a proper Lunch break?
Questions are often asked in the UK workplace around the importance & length of a lunch break on a ‘normal’ work day, as it has been revealed that 70% of workers take far less than an hour for lunch, with the average lunch break just 31 minutes. An online survey asked 2,000 employees across the UK how long they take for lunch and other questions around the topic.
- Does your lunch break have blurred lines around the start and finish?
- Do you stay at your desk and just work and munch?
- Do you have to get away from work/your desk in order to actually stop and take a break?
- Has it become the norm for you to have a working lunch?
The answers provide an interesting insight into what Employees typically do with their lunch break;
- 28% of UK employees say they spend their lunch break browsing the internet.
- 23% said they use it to catch up on work.
- 20% spend their lunch break on social media.
- 17% say they use that time on general admin or running errands.
- Not everyone wants to be sociable though as 36% said they prefer to be on their own during their lunch break and get some time away from the office.
There was also some interesting feedback for progressive Employers to consider around what their Employees may prefer to do instead of a lunch break;
40% of employees say they would rather have reduced / flexible working hours so they could come in to work later or leave early, instead of a designated lunch break.
35% would prefer to have the flexibility to take a break whenever they wanted so that they have control over their day.
24% said that they would rather have a higher rate of pay and fewer breaks.
Concerningly, 25% of people said they took a shorter lunch break out of fear of falling behind in their work and nearly 1 in 5 reveal that they sometimes feel they little choice but to work through their lunch break, because everyone else at work does!
Managing flexible working can be tricky to administer/police, especially for larger Employers, as it needs to be balanced with Business needs alongside the legal minimums for rest breaks at work – So what would you prefer and what would work in your Company? Employees need to be committed to the Business demands, but Employers must be mindful that flexible working is considered one of the most valued work related perks and is a big contributing factor in keeping staff happy/motivated and Employer / recruitment engagement.