While Britain's workers feel they're too busy to take proper breaks, opting for paperwork over lunches can actually reduce overall work performance, according to new research by Bupa.
The research, which looked at 2000 full-time workers, found less than a third of employees took the full lunch hour every day. What's more, 28 per cent said they managed to plough through the working day without taking a single break.
Insurmountable piles of paperwork, endless to-do lists and chock-a-block diaries are blamed for this. Around 43 per cent of employees said heavy workloads prevented them from taking a break with many using "down-time" to respond to work calls and emails.
This could explain why the so-called "desk lunch" is on the rise with 31 per cent of employees admitting they usually eat at their desks. But while skipping lunch effectively jeopardises employees' health and well-being it also risks undermining levels of productivity.
Just over half of respondents said failing to take a proper lunch break puts them in a bad mood and 30 per cent said it's made them feel physically ill before. Sufferers of the mid-afternoon energy dip should definitely make sure they schedule in a proper lunch time, as 40 per cent of employees said missed breaks dent afternoon productivity levels.
Patrick Watt, corporate director at Bupa, said:
It's worrying that some employers are not encouraging their staff to take time out of the working day to relax and recharge. Not only does this affect productivity levels, but it can have far wider implications of business performance.
Taking a proper break helps employees to stay alert, focused and performing at their peak.