UK Workers Take Just 30 Minutes At Lunchtime

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A study commissioned by the UK's leading printer cartridge specialist Cartridge World shows that the majority of Brits spend an average just 30 minutes on lunch, not the full hour most are given.

Lunch hour

Working while eating

The picture we have been able to paint of lunchtime Britain shows that it is as diverse and interesting as the country itself. We are encouraging workers to embrace lunchtime, whatever it is that they enjoy doing.

Ever wondered what your colleagues get up to on their lunch break? Well, chances are they are either online shopping, gossiping about you or enjoying a quick drink, according to a new poll.

The latest picture of lunchtime Britain reveals for the first time not just how long workers spend on lunch but also exactly what they enjoy doing while taking a break from the daily grind.

The study, commissioned by the UK’s leading printer cartridge specialist Cartridge World, discovered that employees spend an average of just 30 minutes and 25 seconds over lunch, while one in ten take less than ten minutes.

Almost half (48%) told researchers they feel under pressure from bosses not to utilise the full 60 minutes break they are entitled to.

A third of people (34.40%) eat lunch at their desk and while online shopping is the most popular lunctime activity with a third indulging, employees get up to lots more besides.

Almost a quarter (23%) of staff under 35 go for a drink in a nearby pub, while five per cent spend lunch time either exercising outside or going to the gym and one in seven spend their time gossiping either about colleagues or celebrities.

The new study surveyed 1,500 employees across the UK, as part of Cartridge World’s ‘Reclaim Lunchtime’ campaign, which was launched to encourage workers to make the most of their lunch breaks.

Updating Facebook profiles and phoning other halves were also two of the most common activities, with a third saying they did one or the other while they were on lunch.

Speaking about the results, John Richardson, UK Chairman for Cartridge World, said: “We all enjoy a lunch break, it is a integral part of the great British working day but our research has shown just how differently colleagues like to spend it.

“So while some head to the gym or go for a run, others enjoy a pint in a pub or shopping online. The picture we have been able to paint of lunchtime Britain shows that it is as diverse and interesting as the country itself.

“We are encouraging workers to embrace lunchtime, whatever it is that they enjoy doing.”
The research also discovered that workers in Gloucester are most likely to go for a drink during lunch, with over a fifth (21.43%) admitting to popping down their local.

Coventry is home to the meanest employees, where one is six spend their lunchtime gossiping and slagging off their colleagues.

And Edinburgh is the lunchtime fitness capital of Britain, with one in ten staff saying they exercise over lunch.

Most popular lunchtime activities

1.    Shop online 34%
2.    Update Facebook 17%
3.    Phone other half 17%
4.    Catch up on showbiz news 9%
5.    Gossip about colleagues 7%

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Vicki Lamb
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