The Cost of British Workers Skipping Lunch Revealed

Following the Christmas break and the struggle to get back to routine – you’d think employees would be jumping at the chance for their hour-long lunch break.

However, only one in five actually take a full hour; and failing not to costs businesses £50million, according to data from

The commercial property agency conducted a survey on 250 individuals from twelve micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to find which professions are most and least inclined to take a full lunch break.

They found digital marketers took a measly 14-minute break, followed by recruiters and telesales employees. Media and communication professionals, on the other hand, took around 55 minutes.

Reasons participants gave for not taking their full hour included trying to please their boss, heavy workloads, feeling pressure from other colleagues who skip their breaks, having nowhere to go or finding an hour just too long – Small Business UK reports.

One employee, a Digital Marketing Executive from Bristol, said: “I haven’t passed my probation yet, and want to make the best impression to my boss and manager.”

A recruiter in London accounted skipping lunch in order to get the best possible remuneration: “My role is commission-based role, so the more I sell in a day, the more pay I get. I feel like every minute I’m on my break, that’s valuable time I could be earning bonus.”

Darren Best, CEO from, comments on the research: “I openly encourage my employees to take a break, to move from their desk and have a walk at lunch time, as it impacts so positively on productivity. I am considering taking employees to a monthly gym session just to get them on their feet!”

Failing to take breaks increases the risk of burnout and employers should take care not to encourage a ‘work hard’ but no play culture.

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