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The Average UK Lunch Hour Is Just 34 Minutes - How Can The Office Change This?

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06/09/2018

The average worker in Britain now takes just 34 minutes for their lunch break with over half of workers (52%) 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 over a third of those polled (37%) saying they rarely leave the office at lunch time. Additionally, 12% 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 over a third (36%) of those questioned said that access to outside space at lunchtime would make them more productive at work, with 32% 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.

To find out more about the UK’s lunch break habits please visit: https://www.workthere.com/en-gb/guides/blog-and-news/how-can-the-office-save-the-lunch-break/

 

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*Censuswide polled 2,007 full time workers in Britain on behalf of Workthere in June 2017.

Notes to editor:

 Other findings include:

  • 34% of workers surveyed take a lunch break of 21 to 30 minutes, while 13% take 20 minutes or less.
  • Those working in HR are most likely to skip their lunch break (70%), followed by Finance (68%) and those within the Arts & Culture sector (62%).
  • Workers in professions with set hours or shifts were most likely to regularly take their lunch breaks
  • 58% of workers in the Manufacturing & Utilities sector and 56% of workers in the Education sector do not skip their lunch break.

Workthere is a new venture by Savills introduced to help businesses find flexible, co-working and serviced office space across Europe, America and Asia. Workthere is an entirely new brokerage service and website listing platform - workthere.com - combining tech with an expert human touch. Workthere is a completely free service for occupiers and covers the entire flexible work space market as well as more specialist space such as laboratories. The concept was formed by Cal Lee,  a former graduate and development surveyor at Savills, who identified the opportunity to offer a new platform for growing co-working and flexible work space providers to market their space. www.workthere.com

 

For further information, please contact:

Cal Lee, head of Workthere                                           Tel: +44 (0) 207 409 8807

Liz Williams-Bew, Savills press office                             Tel: +44 (0) 20 7409 8140