The study, by Indian food and restaurant chain Tiffinbites, found that the traditional lunch hour has shrunk, with just 35 minutes now the average time taken by UK workers for their break.
Teachers are the worst offenders, with just over a quarter (28 per cent) taking less than 20 minutes, closely followed by civil servants (23 per cent) and doctors (19 per cent). Bankers, however, are the best at shunning the short lunch trend with nearly four in ten taking the full hour.
Excuses for not taking a full lunch hour range from simply being ‘too busy’ through to plain old-fashioned guilt, with four per cent of workers admitting they feel too guilty to leave the office whilst colleagues are stuck at their desks. One in ten admitted to not taking lunch when the weather is bad, and four per cent of workers admitted their boss asks them to work through lunch.
But despite feeling compelled to remain at our desks, we acknowledge the pitfalls of neglecting to take a break with almost a third of workers agreeing that going without lunch makes them less productive in the afternoons.
Jamal Hirani, Tiffinbites CEO and Founder, said: “It’s a sign of the busy society in which we live today that workers are no longer able to spare the time to ensure they leave the office and eat lunch. With all the pressures of rising health problems associated with bad diets and poor eating habits, it’s more important than ever that workers get out of the office to take a break and eat a healthy and nutritious lunch.
“At Tiffinbites we’re responding to customer demand for a good, healthy lunchtime meal which is served promptly to ensure workers can be back at their desks within even half an hour, and so have launched the 10 Minute Curry Countdown service.”
Tiffinbites’ Curry Countdown service, launched to coincide with National Curry Week, guarantees that the meal is on the table within ten minutes of ordering, ensuring that time-pressed workers can eat a healthy and balanced meal in their lunch half-hour. If the food is served later than this, the meal is free.