Out to lunch? More employees stay at desks, survey says


A majority of workers do not take a regular lunch break, according to a new online poll by Right Management, a talent and career management expert within employment services company Manpower.

When asked if they take a break for lunch at work, 47 percent said “almost always” while 13 percent said “seldom, if ever.”

Employees who choose to eat at their desks was 20 percent, and only those that take a lunch break “from time to time” clocked in at 19 percent.

The numbers may be food for thought as employees are forced to do more with less, according to Douglas Matthews, the CEO of Right Management.

Among key findings:

  • Top level executives (C-level and Vice President) were the most likely to take a break with 53% saying they almost always do.
  • Men were slightly more likely than women to take a break by 49% to 42%.
  • The younger the worker the more likely the individual is to take a break with 57% of those aged 18-24 indicating they always take a break. This compares to 53% of those aged 25-34, 46% of those aged 35-54, and 45% of those aged 55+.

“While lunch breaks are typically 30 to 60 minutes,”  Matthews said in a press release, “I’m seeing breaks getting shorter given the pressure on workers to do more with less, shoulder heavier workloads and put in longer hours. It’s discouraging to find only a minority are taking a needed break from their work during the day.”

So what do you all think? If you have any lunch break related woes or just your own interpretation of this survey, feel free to comment or just email one of your friendly Federal Times staffers.


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