Over one third of office workers skipping breaks
New data from a survey by Digital Detox, conducted by Just Eat for Business, has revealed that over a third (36%) of UK workers are now skipping more breaks than last year.
The survey uncovered workers’ habits towards breaks and computer use, as well as focus on screen time. The study included expert comments on the mental impact of skipping breaks and went on to offer advice on how to combat it.
It also included responses from over 200 UK workers that were segmented by job role (business owners/C-suite, management team and executive).
The responses revealed that over a third (36%) of office workers are now skipping more lunch breaks compared to last year.
Business owners and those in C-suite positions proved to be the most likely (44%) to skip more breaks, while 1 in 10 at the same level report not taking any lunch breaks at all.
The survey also asked workers how often they put in overtime, with 25% of workers admitting that they put in overtime hours every single day.
When asked how often they feel burnt out at work, the survey found that 43% of workers report feeling sometimes burnt out at work, with 13% of office workers feeling in a constant state of burnout.
The results of the survey suggested that there is a correlation between those who skip breaks and those who feel burnt out, with 73% of workers reporting feeling burnout also admitting they don’t take a break until lunch, while 46% don’t stop looking at their screen until the end of the working day.
Dr Anneli Gascoyne, Associate Professor in Occupational Psychology at Goldsmiths University, commented on the impact of skipping breaks: “Trying to maintain focus for long periods of time is also counterproductive: over time, we’re depleting our mental energy and often don’t notice that happening. By skipping lunch we’re potentially making that situation worse – we need food (preferably the fresh and healthy kind!) to help restore our energy.”
Rosie Hyam, People Partner at Just Eat for Business, added: “Regardless of how teams are working – whether it’s in the office, at home, or a hybrid solution – it’s essential to take regular breaks. Without these, it’s not surprising that so many workers are feeling more burnt out than before.
“Given the emphasis currently being placed on health and wellbeing, it’s important that employers and employees prioritise sustainable and healthy working habits – including taking more regular screen breaks, and setting time aside to socialise with colleagues.
“Organisations may want to consider organising regular events that encourage time away from screens, and offer opportunities for team bonding – such as weekly catered in-office lunches, or food deliveries for at-home workers.”