HR professionals not taking lunch breaks

HR professionals not taking lunch breaks


37% of HR professionals take 15 minutes or less for lunch per day and almost 17% take no lunch break at all, according to the Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey.

The survey, which polled over 700 professionals from a variety of career backgrounds, found that HR workers are more likely to spend their lunchtime at their desk than the average worker, with only procurement & supply chain and legal professionals coming higher.

Vicky Salt, Manager of Human Resources Recruitment at Robert Walters, said: “Clearly working through lunch is not a phenomenon limited to bankers. HR and support professionals are, if anything, more likely to give up their break than their colleagues.”

However, with 61% of HR professionals choosing to spend their lunch at their desks,  Salt warns of the possible ramifications, stating: “While many professionals are content to stay in the office for lunch or even to go without a break, managers should be aware of the impact this can have on staff morale if it becomes the rule rather than the exception.”

According to a survey complied by The Telegraph, only 29% of employees are able to take a full hours' break for lunch every day, resulting in lower productivity rates.

Lee Biggins, Managing Director at CV-Library explains: “Longer hours spent at the desk don’t necessarily equate to more work being completed. Working lunches are often the result of an organisation's internal culture, placing the onus on businesses to ensure staff are given sufficient time to refuel and rejuvenate over lunch, so that they are ready to work productively for the remainder of the afternoon.”

The Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey shows that 21% of professionals cited long working hours as their main reason for leaving a job, deeming it more important than inflexible working hours, lack of bonus and a disappointing salary review.

Mr Biggins goes on to explain the ethos he has instilled within his own business, claiming: “At CV-Library, everyone takes lunch at the same time.

“It helps to breed a friendlier and more sociable internal atmosphere. Our model won't fit all businesses, but there is always a way for employers to make sure their staff take a break.”

Comments (9)

  • Michelle
    Wed, 20 May 2015 11:27am BST
    I regularly only take 15-20 minutes. I could I take an hour. But with all the demands on HR's time it means I will be working a 11 hour day instead of the 10 hours I already work! Then add in my commute of 75 mins each way..... lunch is not such an attractive option unfortunately!
  • jacqui
    Tue, 19 May 2015 4:21pm BST
    15 mins is the norm in my department too.. and eating at the desk.. Its a horrible cultural shift and in an open plan office with sealed windows and air conditioning which isnt healthy already, it is not supportive of employees health
  • Fens
    Tue, 19 May 2015 4:19pm BST
    I'm lucky that the business I work for actively encourages employees to take their hour lunch away from their desk, plus twice a week we are allowed to take a 2hr lunch for fitness pursuits, some of us go to the gym, whilst others go for a walk or run.
  • Incredulous
    Incredulous@ Recruiter
    Tue, 19 May 2015 2:28pm BST
    Sorry, what HR Departments are you dealing with? And can you get me a job there?
  • Surprised
    Surprised @ Recruiter
    Tue, 19 May 2015 1:26pm BST
    This statement is a sweeping generalisation and unnecessary - flexible working applies to everyone in our organisation and it isn't just our HR people - who are expected to be here when our staff are at work - who take advantage of the option.

    You need to get real and review your attitude if recruiter is your job role.

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