Too busy to lunch…

Too busy to lunch…

  • 30% say they try to take their full entitlement but it?s not always possible
  • One in five (21%) take a short break and 19% say they never take a break, making the habit of lunching at their desks

Being busy is holding people back from taking their full lunch, with almost half (47%) citing this. Nearly one in five (18%) eat at their desks, so believe there is no need for a full break.

Getting ?time back? in the evening could be seen as another driving force behind the ?working lunch culture?, with 20% stating their company flexi-time means they can leave early and 15% saying it allows them to leave on time.

Health professionals often talk of the problems of not taking a break for lunch during the working day.

Our results back this up, with around three quarter of workers (73%) picking out many issues that may arise by not taking a lunch break

  • Stress: 38% think that workplace stress may arise as a result
  • Lack of concentration and errors: one third (33%) are aware not having a break causes concentration issues, leading onto making more mistakes which was mentioned by one in four (27%)
  • Health: one in five (20%) think it will lead to eye sight problems due to staring at a computer monitor and 14% believe that back problems may occur and their immune system would suffer.

The work culture in the UK is one of being busy (and being seen to be busy). Employees are aware of the issues, but getting the work done and leaving on time appears more important than avoiding stress, higher work productivity and their health.

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,010 people of which 1,180 were in full or part time work from 6th to 8th March 2012, aged 18+. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

This survey is conducted online by CAWI (computer aided web interviewing), using Opinium?s online research panel of circa 35,000 individuals. This research is run from a representative sample of UK adults (aged 18+ in England, Scotland and Wales). The sample is scientifically defined from pre-collected registration data containing gender, age (18-34, 35-54, and 55+), region (North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humberside, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, South East, South West, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), working status and social grade to match the latest published ONS figures.

Opinium also takes into account differential response rates from the different demographic groups, to ensure the sample is representative.