Average UK lunch hour is just 34 minutes – How can you give more?

New research suggests UK workers rarely leave the office at lunch time and they eat lunch at their desk on average four days a week.

The average worker in Britain now takes just 34 minutes for their lunch break with over half of workers (52 per cent) 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 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 more than a third of those polled (37 per cent) 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 a third (36 per cent) say 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.

Cal Lee, founder and head of Workthere, comments, ‘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.’

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.

Further reading on lunch hour

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

Related Topics