Human Resources magazine and the HR Bulletin daily email newsletter:
Asia's only regional HR print and digital media brand.
Register for your FREE subscription now »
We’ve all been there – picking up a grab-and-go breakfast on our way to work or skipping breakfast entirely in exchange for a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning. That means lunch is probably the first decent meal for many workers. Even if you manage to have a nice breakfast, workers deserve to have a proper breather especially when they have been working their guts out all morning.
However, a recent research conducted by staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests that only 30% of some 2,800 U.S. office workers have lunch breaks close to 60 minutes.
According to the survey, 27% of the respondents have lunch breaks of 51 – 60 minutes, while those have 30 minutes or less for lunch add up to 56%. 3% claimed they have more than 60 minutes of lunch breaks.
Not only do most employees have lunch periods that are less than an hour, 29% confessed that they often work during eating. Workers are most likely to go online and check out social media (52%), especially the younger generations aged between 18 and 34 (60%, compared to 55% in 35 to 54-year-olds and 34% in 55 and older). Other popular ways to spend the downtime are catching up on personal calls/emails (51%), socialising with coworkers (47%) and running errands (32%). 30% often take the time to exercise or have a quick stroll.
Brandi Britton, district president for OfficeTeam, pointed out that lunch break is an important productivity booster, and workers should not sacrifice their lunch breaks to work even on a busy day.
Other than the stats, OfficeTeam also shared five tips to maximise lunch breaks:
• Have a well-balanced and nutritious meal to fuel your body for the rest of the day.
• Socialise with your coworkers or manager to strengthen connections. It is also a good chance to get to know contacts from other departments.
• Track professional goals by meeting with a mentor and discuss career progress.
• Step away from work and relax by taking a walk or exercising so you are more productive after lunch.
• Take care of your personal tasks so you have more time to yourself after hours.
“These days, people are quick to turn to their mobile devices to pass the time, but it can be a nice change of pace and good for relationship building to eat with colleagues,” Britton added.
ALSO READ: Lunch alone is not so sad after all
Talent Experience Forum - a new one-day conference discussing candidate and employee experience, happening in Kuala Lumpur on 23 October