How Do You Spend Your Lunch Break?

Most Canadian workers spend their lunch breaks ‘screened-in,’ a new poll finds.

While 45 per cent of professionals polled said they socialize with colleagues at lunch, 49 per cent most frequently surf the Internet or social media and 38 per cent catch up on personal calls or emails, according to new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam.

Thirty-two per cent of professionals confessed to working during their break.

Research also revealed that more than half of workers (54 per cent) said their typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less.

Of that group, seven per cent take no break at all.


Workers were also asked, “What is the average length (in minutes) of your typical lunch break?”

Their responses:

0 minutes - 7 per cent

1-10 minutes - 2 per cent

11-20 minutes - 6 per cent

21-30 minutes - 39 per cent

31-40 minutes - 4 per cent

41-50 minutes - 10 per cent

51-60 minutes - 30 per cent

More than 60 minutes - 2 per cent


Even on the busiest days, it’s important for professionals to maximize the time they’re given for lunch and try to step away from their desks to refresh and refocus for the afternoon,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam.

Rather than defaulting to cell phones or other screen time for company, using a midday break to connect with colleagues can help cultivate a greater feeling of camaraderie and overall happiness at work.”

OfficeTeam offers five tips for workers to maximize lunch breaks:

Have a well-balanced meal. Don’t skip what a midday break is intended for: eating. Choose nutritious foods that provide energy for the rest of the day.

Get to know colleagues. Socializing with coworkers or your manager over lunch can strengthen connections. You could also network with contacts from other departments.

Track professional goals. Use the time to meet with your mentor to discuss career progress.

Step away from work. Getting out and taking a real break can help you return to the office more productive. Try exercising or walking to clear your mind.

Take time for yourself. Running errands or taking care of personal tasks during lunch can result in a shorter to-do list later.

Graphic courtesy of OfficeTeam

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