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Let’s do lunch: Survey finds regular breaks refresh workers

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Philadelphia — Breaking for lunch can do wonders for worker morale and productivity, a recent survey conducted by professional hygiene product manufacturer and service provider Tork has found.

Nearly 90 percent of the 1,600 U.S. employees and managers surveyed said taking a daily lunch break makes them feel reenergized and ready to return to work. Among workers who took daily lunch breaks, 81 percent felt a strong desire to take an active role in the organization, 65 percent were willing to work late or on weekends, and 63 percent were excited to come to work each day.

However, Tork researchers also found that although 88 percent of managers believe their employees would say that they’re encouraged to take a regular lunch break, only 62 percent of workers said the same. In addition, 34 percent of managers consider an employee’s lunch break frequency when evaluating his or her job performance, and 22 percent regard those who take regular lunch breaks as less hard-working.

Other survey results:

  • The average lunch break lasts less than 30 minutes.
  • About 20 percent of employees worry that their managers will believe they don't work hard if they take regular lunch breaks, while 13 percent fear co-workers will judge them.
  • 88 percent of workers who take daily lunch breaks say they're satisfied with their current job, compared with 82 percent of workers who don’t take lunch breaks.

“Reluctance to take a lunch break is often perceived as a display of dedication to the job,” Jennifer Deal, University of Southern California research scientist, said in a May 16 press release. “In reality, taking time away for a lunch break can help to reduce stress, increase engagement, and restore energy levels, making employees feel more effective and productive back at the office.”

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