Over half (56%) of UK office workers do not have a dedicated space to eat lunch in the workplace, according to research by interiors organisation Furniture123.
The survey of 1,012 UK office-based workers found that 34% resort to eating at their desk. However, 69% of those surveyed said they feel they work less productively as a result of not taking a break away from their workspace over lunch, and almost half (47%) said they work more efficiently in the afternoons if they take a full one-hour break.
Nearly half (46%) of respondents said they would like to get out of the office for a walk during their lunch break, but 47% of these felt they had nowhere to go or did not like the local area.
Mark Kelly, marketing manager at Furniture123, said: “Happy workers are more productive. This sentiment has been proven time and time again, and it’s one of the many reasons why it’s so important to keep employees on side.
“Providing staff with somewhere to eat lunch is an office essential, and the simple act of getting away from the desk and taking a break, even for 10 minutes, enables workers to push the reset button and come back to work with a clearer head and renewed focus.”
One in three (33%) office workers told the survey their workplace did not feature any kind of breakout area that might enable them to get away from their desk. When asked what features respondents would like to see in their office, the most popular answer was a designated lunch area (76%), followed by sofas (70%), bean bags (62%), a garden or terrace (59%) and a ping-pong table (52%).
Kelly said: “All employers should consider investing in breakout spaces to aid productivity. Whether creating a cosy corner with simple bean bags or commissioning a full breakout room with all the trimmings, the increased staff productivity will ultimately bring in more revenue and the investment will pay for itself.”