The lunch “hour” may be a concept of the past, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests. More than half of workers (56 percent) said their typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less. Among professionals in the 28 U.S. cities surveyed, those in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami take the longest lunches. Employees in Salt Lake City, Des Moines and Cincinnati have the shortest breaks. The survey was developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 2,800 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in 28 major U.S. cities.
What are workers doing at lunch, besides eating? Respondents said they most frequently surf the internet or social media (52 percent), followed by catching up on personal calls or emails (51 percent). That’s up from 27 percent and 25 percent, respectively, from a 2014 survey. Twenty-nine percent of professionals confessed to working during lunch.
Workers were asked, “What is the average length (in minutes) of your typical lunch break?” Seven percent responded 0-10 minutes, 8 percent said 11-20 minutes, 41 percent said 21-30 minutes, 4 percent said 31-40 minutes, 10 percent said 41-50 minutes, 27 percent said 51-60 minutes. Only 3 percent responded more than 60 minutes.
“Even if only 30 minutes or less are available due to workloads or company guidelines, professionals should try to maximize lunch breaks to relax and recharge a bit,” said Brandi Britton, district president for OfficeTeam. “These days, people are quick to turn to their mobile devices to pass the time, but it can be a nice change of pace and good for relationship building to eat with colleagues.”
The research by OfficeTeam also revealed that:
OfficeTeam offers five tips for workers to maximize lunch breaks: