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1 in 2 people in Wales have had to skip lunch due to excessive workloads

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Almost half of office workers in Wales have admitted to having skipped lunch while working as they struggle to get through their workload, a recent survey reveals. 

The Lacklustre Lunch Breaks Survey, from Just Eat for Business, asked the region’s employees about what they eat on their lunch break, what they would change about their break, and how it impacts their productivity and positivity at work overall.

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While workers in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wrexham regularly miss out on eating due to hectic workloads, a further 47% said that they often feel tired and sluggish following lunch – potentially as a result of a poor and uninspiring lunch break. 

This is concerning, given that recent Just Eat for Business findings also found that two fifths (44%) of employees in Wales are burnt out at work, while a fifth find trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance the hardest aspect of work. 

Government advice states that workers have the right to one uninterrupted 20-minute rest break during their working day, if they work more than six hours per day – which for the majority of office employees, is their lunch break entitlement. 

This means that if Welsh workers aren’t able to eat in their allotted break – whether due to workload or other factors – they’ll have to wait until the end of the working day to get food. 

Skipping lunch can also exacerbate issues related to stress, as the NHS states missing meals can result in weight gain, low mood, mood swings and dizziness. 

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But excessive workload isn’t the only issue Welsh workers face when it comes to trying to prioritise their lunch – as the survey also found that 48% feel unmotivated to make daily lunches for work, and so struggle to break the cycle of feeling tired or sluggish without lunch.

With this in mind, it’s important that employers set aside some provisions to make sure their workforce can get some sort of sustenance during the work day.

Tom Baxter, Account Management Director at Just Eat for Business, commented on the findings: “It’s not recommended that people skip lunch, as it’s important to fuel ourselves during the working day – and it’s particularly sad that many feel they have to do so due to time constraints.”

“If Welsh employers are unable to extend lunch breaks, they need to make sure that their employees are able to eat regularly, and well. A good way to do this is to schedule catered lunch breaks that can be enjoyed amongst team members, as this promotes a social atmosphere – and makes sure everyone has time to rest and refuel at work.”

Other results detailed in the survey include how often workers find themselves eating the same thing for lunch, and how people feel after they return to work from their lunch.

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