£50 million lost through unproductive Brits skipping lunch

Despite early starts, stressful commutes and long working hours, only one in five will actually take the traditional lunch hour.

£50 million is lost due to employees skipping lunch, a new study from Savoystewart.co.uk reveals.

Office workers have returned to work, feeling somewhat refreshed after the festive break. However, only one in  five workers will actually take the traditional lunch hour break; a stark contrast to France, which sees the lunch hour as a key part of the working day.

Commercial property agency Savoystewart.co.uk conducted a survey of 250 individuals from 12 SME’s to discover which professions are scrimping on their lunch break, and which are taking advantage of the full hour.

They found that digital marketers took the shortest breaks, taking a meagre average of 14-minutes, followed by recruiters and those in telesales. At the opposite end of the spectrum were media & communication professionals, who took almost their whole hour at 55 minutes.

Some of the reasons were to please the boss, too much work to do, other colleagues don’t take lunch, there’s nowhere to go or one hour is too long.

‘I haven’t passed my probation yet, and want to make the best impression to my boss and manager,’ a digital marketing executive from Bristol says.

A recruiter in London says, ‘My role is commission-based role, so the more I sell in a day, the more pay I get. I feel like every minute I’m on my break, that’s valuable time I could be earning bonus. ‘

Many workers forget the importance of taking a lunch break. Working consistently for long periods isn’t good for your physical and mental well-being. Even a short 15-minute break away from the computer screen is a proven way to improve concentration levels for the rest of the day.

Darren Best, CEO from Savoystewart.co.uk, says, ‘I openly encourage my employees to take a break, to move from their desk and have a walk at lunch time, as it impacts so positively on productivity. I am considering taking employees to a monthly gym session just to get them on their feet!’

Further reading on lunch breaks

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.

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