Office Survey Reveals Death of the Lunch Hour
A recent survey by serviced office provider Business Environment (BE) has found that today’s office workers are taking significantly shorter lunch breaks, and forgoing activities like going to the gym, as their work load increases.
Under the heavy cloud of a recent recession, many office workers in the UK are feeling the effects of economic instability as they work longer hours and take shorter breaks, in response to increased pressure at work.
According to the survey of 3,000 UK office workers, 31% of respondents felt under pressure to work harder and take shorter lunch breaks due to staff cuts or because of the current economic climate. This trend became more significant among graduates, as the figure rose to 43%.
56% of respondents said that they took less than 30 minutes for lunch, and 18% said that they usually worked through their lunch break.
The survey also found that many UK workers failed to claim back expenses, with 60% not claiming for team drinks, and 58% forgoing claims for expenses because they had lost their receipts, or didn’t have time to fill in a form.
At the other end of the scale, 71% of respondents felt it was acceptable to use a work phone for personal calls, as did 54% who spent some of their work time using the internet for personal reasons, particularly online shopping.
Interestingly, over 60% of office workers surveyed said they would use their office computer to look for a new job, but only in their lunch break and providing their boss wasn’t around to see it. 38% wouldn’t consider it at all.
Steve Moore, marketing manager at Business Environment, commented that the survey brought “real insights” into the challenges facing UK businesses today.
“It’s apparent that the current economic climate is already having an impact on some employees who are now working longer and harder as a result,” he said. “Interestingly, in recent months, we’ve noticed that more clients are taking advantage of the free fruit baskets at our centres. We’ve also seen a sharp rise in the number of our clients using their free employee membership of our on-site gym facilities. As a result, we will be looking to add gym facilities at more of our locations this year.”
The survey will be repeated in six months’ time, and again at the end of this year, to compare results from the three surveys and find out how organisations have adapted throughout the year.
“I’m very much looking forward to seeing how organisations meet these challenges, the impact they have on their employees and finding out which industry sectors that have adapted most effectively,” Steve added.
The research was conducted by OnePoll for Business Environment, surveying 3000 UK office workers across multiple industry sectors.