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can business be flexible ? Reclaim the
lunch break

Working through lunch costs UK businesses almost £50million.


UK companies are losing close to £50million a day in lost productivity as workers fail to take a lunch break.

According to new research from Bupa, over six million UK employees are chained to their desks as just three in 10 (30 per cent) take a lunch hour.

Over a third (34 per cent) of employees experience pressure from managers to work through their lunch hour while half feel the weight of their workload prevents them from taking a break.

The impact on workers not taking a break is significant, almost half (48 per cent) feel their productivity levels plummet in the afternoon around 3 o’clock and as a result lose almost 40 minutes of their day due to this dip.

Bupa Clinical Director of Occupational Health, Dr. Jenny Leeser, said: “In challenging economic times, the UK work force is in overdrive and the lunch break is falling by the wayside. Instead of taking a break to refuel, workers are using props including chocolates and sweets and caffeinated drinks to get them through the day.

“In fact, a fifth (21 per cent) consume five caffeinated drinks a day. Having large amounts of caffeine on a daily basis can lead to insomnia and dehydration.”

Dr Leeser continued: “Taking an entire hour for lunch can often be difficult, and is not necessarily the best way to keep productivity levels up. Best practice is for employees to take breaks -often in the form of a change of activity- at regular intervals throughout the day to help stay alert and focused.”

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