The increased economic pressures faced by office workers in Spain are forcing many to ditch their traditional midday siesta, it has been reported.
According to the Daily Mail, an increasing number are taking sandwiches into work rather than going for a restaurant meal during their two-or three hour break.
The news provider said that with Spain in the grip of its worst economic downturn since the 1930s, the traditional Spanish lunch and siesta “could become a thing of the past”.
It suggested that longer lunch breaks – taken to counter the effects of extreme heat during the middle of the day – are becoming a luxury as household budgets are strangled.
Many Spaniards start work at around 9am and stay until after 8pm – with a long midday break factored into the equation.
Restaurants very often offer set-price menus for diners between 2pm and 5pm, but with office workers looking to reduce their expenditure, fewer people appear to be eating out.
“The ‘siesta’ – the afternoon nap that was once Spanish workers’ favoured method of coping with baking midday heat – has practically died out,” the Daily Mail stated.
“But many office workers still take the time to go out in groups for a big meal, and regard quick lunchtime snacks as less healthy and anti-social.”
However, the news provider said demand “is diminishing” in a nation where a quarter of adults are now out of work.
It claimed that more employees are opting for packed lunches, causing restaurant owners to rethink their menus and pricing,
In the UK, the issue surrounding lunch breaks is slightly different – very often employees continue working through the middle of the day in order to complete their workload.
Many have to sit with their lunch at their desk as they continue to work, in order to ensure they do not have to stay late at the end of the day.
A recent study conducted to coincide with the CBD Food Festival in Birmingham suggested that workers are giving their employers 16 free days a year by failing to take a proper lunch break.