As the ever-evolving world of work keeps us on our toes, Mug Shot – the beloved quick-snack brand – took to the streets of Britain to uncover the latest lunchtime trends.
In a survey that could rival the juiciest workplace gossip, the brand discovered some lunchtime behaviours that just won’t cut it.
If you thought office antics were all about staplers in jelly, think again.
The worst lunchtime crimes revealed
1. Sandwich Snatchers Beware: The cardinal sin of pilfering a colleague’s sandwich ranks supreme as the most unforgivable workplace lunchtime crime.
2. Tuna Terrors: Almost one in five respondents admitted to squirming at the sight of a co-worker munching on a sea-related sandwich.
3. Dirty Dish Dumpers: Leaving your lunch dishes for a colleague to clean up earned its rightful place in the top five lunchtime misdemeanors.
4. Fridge Space Hogs: Taking up too much room in the communal fridge didn’t sit well with those polled
5. Aggressive Kitchen Notes: Leaving passive-aggressive notes in the kitchen had tempers boiling faster than a microwave meal.
Too busy to eat
Traditionally, lunch breaks were the daily oasis for many Brits, but the survey suggests work breaks are being eaten away.
A staggering 74% of respondents claimed they often skip lunch, with heavy workloads and the perpetual “too busy” excuse taking the blame. This sentiment was echoed by both hybrid and remote workers.
When it comes to skipping lunch, hybrid workers took the lead, with a whopping 78% admitting to doing so at the workplace, compared to 62% when working from home, all due to those relentless workloads.
Even fully remote workers didn’t escape the lunchtime crunch, as two-thirds of them confessed to powering through without a proper break, again pointing fingers at their workloads.
Dinner al desko
With working hours on the rise and socialising on the decline, a gloomy 41% revealed that they regularly dine alone at their desks while multitasking.
Taking proper breaks, as numerous studies suggest, can boost energy levels and reduce exhaustion, something that two in three respondents seemed to agree with. They believe that a midday pause is essential for maintaining productivity and overall well-being.
Longing for a leisurely lunch
While 48% of respondents longed for a more leisurely lunch, like strolling, reading, or indulging in podcasts, it was the top brass who were twice as likely to opt for a shopping spree.
In a surprising revelation, the lunch hour – once a sacred break in the day – has dwindled to a mere 36 minutes for the average UK worker before they’re back at the grind. This leaves a staggering 94 hours per year unclaimed – equivalent to five weeks of annual leave or 12 full working days!
Lunch breaks trace their origins back to the Industrial Revolution when hard-working laborers needed sustenance to power through the long factory hours. Pies sold outside factories revolutionised the way people ate, and Britain led the way in industrialised food.
Recharge and reconnect
Emma Boyle, senior brand manager at Mug Shot, emphasised the importance of taking a lunch break to recharge and connect with colleagues.
She noted that in these fast-paced times, having a quick, healthy, and easy-to-prepare snack during lunch allows people to maximise their break and make the most of their precious time away from their desks.