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The average worker in Britain now takes just 34 minutes for their lunch break with over half skipping their lunch break completely – a significant shift from the traditional one hour break. Londoners are most likely to skip their lunch hour altogether, closely followed by Birmingham, Manchester and Norwich. This is according to new research from Workthere.
Workthere commissioned a poll of over 2,000 full time workers across Britain on their lunchtime habits to find out how long they actually take for lunch. The results show that office employees eat lunch at their desk on average four days per week and even when they do take a break, they often don’t step out of the office, with over a third of those polled saying they rarely leave the office at lunch time. Additionally, 12 per cent agreed they felt pressure to work through their lunch hour.
Workthere was also keen to understand how the office environment impacts these lunchtime statistics and found that over a third of those surveyed said that access to outside space at lunchtime would make them more productive at work, with 32 per cent confirming a quiet area to escape to would make a difference to the time they spend on their lunch break.
“We have seen wellness establish itself firmly on the workplace agenda with employers increasingly recognising the benefits of ensuring staff are content, happy and most importantly, in good health. Part of this is creating a productive office environment where employees feel comfortable taking a longer lunch break and engaging with colleagues,” Cal Lee, founder and head of Workthere, said.
Workthere notes that the trend of providing a variety of areas for staff to enjoy their breaks is particularly visible in the serviced and flexible office sector with providers looking to cater to a range of diverse requirements. Examples include: outdoor space; roof terraces; a subsidised canteen; quiet areas and even lunch hour activities to encourage staff to step away from their desks.