You’re overworked, aren’t you? Emails to reply to, reports to write, Facebook profile pictures from 2014 to accidentally like as you quietly scroll through someone’s entire online history – how are you meant to take a full hour for your lunch?
So, inevitably, you end up nipping out to Boots to get a limp meal deal – Pret if you’re feeling fancy – and eating it at your desk, dropping pallid shreds of lettuce all over your keyboard. This is how you live, isn’t it.
Anyway, it turns out that it’s not just your taste buds that are suffering for your bad lunch time choices. Research from office space company WorkThere has discovered that the average lunch break now lasts only 34 minutes – 26 minutes less than the hour you should be taking.
And it adds up. Do that for every day of the working year? You’ve spent 6,032 minutes doing work when you were legally entitled to not do work. That’s 12 whole days. 12 whole days of completely unpaid work.
Loads of us are doing it, too. According to the research, 52% of people skip lunch completely at least once a week; 37% said they “rarely leave the office at lunchtime”. This is all in spite of the fact that more than 25% of people felt they would be way more productive in the afternoon if they took a lunch break and left the office.
Workers in HR, banking and arts and culture were least likely to take their lunch breaks, with Londoners topping the list by region.
Overworking has been linked to low productivity and higher levels of stress and anxiety – so be good to yourself and go and have your lunch somewhere else.