Lunch Breaks A Casualty Of Recession, Downsizing
Lunch breaks are declining in popularity as companies sustain a reduced workforce, and in this tough economic climate, many workers are not taking breaks for a multitude of reasons.
Lunch breaks used to be a fairly standard part of the day, and workers would salvage at least a half hour or so to recharge, grab some food and put spreadsheets aside. But a decrease in overall workers and and increased workloads have forced many in the workforce to forgo breaks altogether, either due to having to pick up the slack from smaller staffs or just because they fear being next on the chopping block.
Livescience looked into the overall decline in workers taking lunch breaks, and found that surveys suggest overwhelmingly that the 30-6o minutes we used to spend off the clock, eating a sandwich and chatting to co-workers or reading a magazine is largely a thing of the past.
According to research done on lunch breaks today, workplace consulting group Right Management discovered that 34 percent of North American employees reported eating in their cubicles or at their desks (presumably while working), and that an additional 31 percent said they “occasionally, rarely or never took lunch.”
Danielle Hartmann is the director for corporate partnerships at Boston College’s Center for Work & Family, and she confirmed to the site that lunch breaks are on the definite decline in North American companies. Hartmann explains:
“I think the expectation is that more people are expected to work more with less… Workloads have been exceptionally high and people don’t feel like they can take the time to eat.”
Have you become part of the crowd no longer taking breaks in order to wring more productivity out of the workday?