‘Al-desko’ eating is a part of life for millions of Brits


Research of 2,000 office workers and students revealed 82% end up consuming their midday meal at their desk during a typical week, with over half of these (46%) eating ‘al-desko’ most days. Nearly one in five (18%) don’t have anywhere else to eat at a table – with their desk the next best option – and of those that do, on average they spend just 32 minutes away from work.

It also found six in 10 skip taking a dedicated lunch break altogether, although 89% agreed it’s important to take ten. And 52% who take time out claim to feeling refreshed after a moment away from their desk.

Phil Thomson, senior business development director at Lipton Ice Tea, which commissioned the research as the brand encourages the nation to reclaim their midday meal with the launch of Lipton Lunch Club, said: “Our study has shown how few take a break, despite generally understanding the benefits of doing so – in a world where work life balance is a popular topic, valuing lunch time should be part of the discussion.

“It sounds counterintuitive, but stopping work for a bit can actually lead you to getting much more done throughout the day, and help you lift your mood, feeling more energised for the rest of your day.”

The study also found 38% feel the need to take a break to escape their screens, while 31% require time to recharge. But 36% fear modern society and working culture is encouraging people to power through and not make time for lunch, according to the OnePoll figures.

Although 43% are much more productive when they step away from their work and eat lunch elsewhere, with a quarter feeling actively happy for taking a dedicated break.

It also emerged two-thirds (67%) believe taking a lunch break helps increase their social interactions with friends, but 53% wish they made more time for breaks in their day.

And 35% feel more inspired to do things in the evening or after work when they’ve been sure to have a lunch break in the daytime. Fortunately, 56% of those polled are actively encouraged by their employers, managers or tutors to have a break at lunchtime.

While colleagues (27%) and pre-arranged plans (29%) improve the likelihood of taking a break, with 45% better at taking time out when they have somewhere to go or something to do. And 31% have vowed to make a concerted effort going forward to take a midday break, no matter how busy they get.

Phil Thomson added: “Ensuring you take a lunch break, no matter where you work, is a simple yet powerful way to boost your health and productivity – it’s an investment in yourself that pays off throughout the day. Lunch breaks are a key component of work-life balance helping us disconnect briefly from our duties and reset.”

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