A poll conducted by Monster reveals that workers are more than willing to forgo lunch with nearly one third of global respondents (30 per cent) eating whilst working or not taking a break at all. In comparison, workers in the UK are considerably more likely than other countries to work through their lunch break with 45% of those surveyed admitting to not taking a break at all. Across the globe, of those who do break for lunch, almost one in five (18 per cent) only take 15 minutes to eat, while about one-third (34 per cent) will break for 30-45 minutes and only 18 per cent will take a full hour.
Monster, the premier global online employment solution and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW) asked visitors to their site the question, “How would you describe your typical lunch ‘break’?” and received 10,646 responses.
Global findings included:
- I eat while I work / don’t take a break: 30 per cent
- I take a 15 minute break: 18 per cent
- I take a break for at least 30–45 minutes: 34 per cent
- I take a full hour break: 18 per cent
UK findings include:
- I eat while I work / don’t take a break: 45 per cent
- I take a 15 minute break: 17 per cent
- I take a break for at least 30–45 minutes: 21 per cent
- I take a full hour break: 17 per cent
Workers surveyed in the UK appear most crunched for time as close to half (45 per cent) said they eat whilst they work, or do not take a break.. In the U.S., 38 per cent eat while they work/don’t take a break, which is closely followed by Canada (32 per cent). The UK also reported only 17 per cent of respondents take a full hour for lunch, which was matched by Canada (17 per cent) and the U.S. (17 per cent).
Conversely, in Sweden, only 11 per cent of respondents eat while they work or don’t break at all, while nearly half (49%) answered they take half an hour to 45 minutes. This was matched by Mexican respondents where only 11 per cent skip lunch and exactly half (50 per cent) take 30 to 45 minutes.
Other countries where respondents were most likely to take 30 to 45 minute breaks were Finland (49 per cent) and The Netherlands (46 per cent), which were also the countries where respondents were least likely to take a full hour – just six per cent in the Netherlands and seven per cent in Finland.
Those who most appreciate time to rejuvenate and enjoy a full hour lunch include the culturally gastronomic French (32 per cent) as well as German (28 per cent) respondents – a nod to the country’s traditional roots, where lunch is considered the main meal of the day. The siesta-loving Spanish meanwhile saw 23 per cent of respondents answering they take a full hour break.
“A desire to be seen as working extra hard may cause a worker to skip breaks,” says Charles Purdy, Monster.com’s career expert. “Also, the line between ‘personal time’ and ‘work time’ continues to blur for many workers, as technology advances have made our entire work life accessible from almost wherever we are. But many studies have shown that regular breaks actually increase productivity and mental acuity – plus, they also prevent burnout. Rather than attempting to demonstrate your hard work simply by logging more desk time, it’s important to work with your manager to determine realistic productivity-related goals.”
The results of the current Monster Global Poll are based on votes cast by Monster visitors from January 2 to January 16 2012. Only one vote per user is counted toward the final tabulation. The Monster Global poll, a product of Monster, the premier global online employment solution and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc., is a series of online polls that gauge users’ opinions on a variety of topics relating to careers, the economy and the workplace. These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate.