Some 54 per cent of office employees regularly work through their lunch break.
This is according to a poll carried out by BBC Breakfast today (February 7th) and it highlights how many people using serviced office space are potentially sacrificing their wellbeing in an effort to complete their daily tasks. Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Frances O’Grady said the findings are worrying as they “shine a spotlight on Britain’s long-hours culture”.
“Far too many employees are failing to take lunch because they have too much work to do. It is essential that employers recognise the damage this can do to their staff and to the productivity of their workforce,” she stated.
Ms O’Grady remarked individuals who do not step away from their desk at any time are likely to hit a slump in the afternoon. Instead, they would be much better off getting out of the office for at least half an hour.
The expert is calling for change in the current working practices culture in the UK, as she does not think enough companies encourage their staff to step away from their desk.
Her comments follow those made last month by minister for public health Anna Soubry, who said that eating a sandwich over a keyboard is “disgusting”. The Conservative MP claimed everyone at her constituency office in Nottingham is told to go out on their lunch break.
Ms Soubry said to the Daily Telegraph it is ironic how many cookery programmes people in the UK seem to watch, but they are not willing to put any of the tips they pick up into practice.
Businesses can make an effort to encourage their workers to take a full lunch hour by setting up an area where they can go and eat and relax. Minimising the amount of work that comes with a morning deadline could also be useful, while firms should also stress the importance of wellbeing.