Skipping lunch breaks contributes to burnout and lower job performance

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The best moment of the workday, in all honesty, is probably lunch. (Okay, maybe it’s the second best moment, and the first best is clocking out.) Yet, increasingly, the sacred lunch hour seems to be in danger of going extinct.

EzCater, a company that provides corporate food solutions, surveyed 5,000 employees about their lunch breaks. Here are the key findings:

  • Lunch makes (most) people happier: 53% of people say lunch makes them happier, a 15% increase from last year, and 48% say they are less burned out when they eat lunch, a 26% increase from last year. Meanwhile, 78% of people say taking a lunch break helps them improve their performance.
  • But more people are skipping lunch breaks: 48% of people say they skip lunch breaks at least once a week, while the number of people who skip lunch breaks entirely has increased from 10% to 14%. About 20% say this is because they have too many meetings (74% of people say it’s rude to eat on a video call), while another 22% say it’s because they don’t have enough time. Over a third of workers say they take less than 30 minutes for a lunch break.
  • Gen Z is the most likely to love—and skip—lunch: 42% of Gen Z workers say lunch is their favorite part of the day, compared with 26% of baby boomers. But while only 30% of boomers will skip lunch at least once a week, 70% of Gen Zers skip lunch once a week. In addition, Gen Z is the most likely generation to take a lunch break of less than half an hour.

“It can be once a week or every day, but encouraging 30-minute ‘no meeting’ lunch breaks for the entire company (including senior leadership) sets the tone that your organization prioritizes employees’ mental health and physical well-being,” the report’s authors claim.



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