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1 in 10 office workers skip lunch as their breaks are too short


More than 1 in 10 office workers end up regularly or always skipping lunch as they’re not given enough time on their break to purchase food, a new survey reveals.

The Lacklustre Lunch Breaks Survey, from Just Eat for Business, asked the nation’s office workers about how often they skip their lunch breaks at work, and why.

While 14% are forced to skip eating due to time constraints, a further third (37%) have regularly skipped lunch due to other factors, such as stress or cost concerns.

Tom Baxter, Account Management Director at Just Eat for Business stresses the importance of food as fuel at work, and encourages employers to prioritise social lunch breaks. More than 1 in 10 of the nation’s office workers regularly skip lunch, as they don’t have enough time to purchase food within their lunch break allowance, according to the survey.

The Lacklustre Lunch Breaks Survey, from Just Eat for Business, asked the nation’s employees about what they eat on their lunch break, what they would change about their break, and how it impacts their productivity and positivity at work overall. For a tenth of those surveyed, lunch breaks aren’t enough time to properly fuel themselves, as they’re unable to purchase food in their free time before returning to the office.This is concerning, given that the survey also found a further fifth (19%) of office workers don’t have the energy or motivation to make themselves a packed lunch before they get to work, and so eating out is their only way to get food during the working week.

Lunch breaks are a necessity and a requirement by law

Government advice states that workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break during their working day, if they work more than six hours per day – which for the majority of office employees, is their lunch break entitlement.

It seems this isn’t enough time for employees to join a queue, purchase food and eat it before having to return to work, and so they’ve given up on eating lunch altogether.

Skipping meals is linked to various mental and physical side effects, including weight gain, fatigue, low mood, mood swings and dizziness, according to the NHS.

From a business perspective, lunch breaks are important for employees to rest and reset during the working day, and affects productivity and motivation throughout the afternoon.

And time constraints isn’t the only thing office workers wish they could change about their lunch break – with a third (31%) wishing the food they had access to at work was cheaper, whilst over a quarter (27%) wish their lunch was healthier.

Tom Baxter, Account Management Director at Just Eat for Business, commented on the findings: “It’s not recommended that people skip lunch, as it’s important to fuel ourselves during the working day – and it’s particularly sad that many feel they have to do so due to time constraints.”

Need to skip a lunch break? Catered lunch breaks is one solution

“If employers are unable to extend lunch breaks, they need to make sure that their employees are able to eat regularly, and well. A good way to do this is to schedule catered lunch breaks that can be enjoyed amongst team members, as this promotes a social atmosphere – and makes sure everyone has time to rest and refuel at work.”

Other results detailed in the survey include how often workers find themselves eating the same thing for lunch, and how people feel after they return to work from their lunch.

To see the full results of the Lacklustre Lunch Breaks Survey, please visit: