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Only 28% of Kiwis take their full designated lunch break

Girl works late

Updated: 08 Oct 2018

Are you feeling tired and fatigued at work? If so, it could be because only 28% of Kiwi workers take their full designated lunch break.

That’s according to a survey by recruiting experts Hays of 1,253 professionals, who were asked how much of their designated lunch break they take on average. Just 28% take their full lunch break most days, 25% take around three-quarters and 22% take half. A further 18% take just one quarter of their break. The final 7% never take a break.

This is despite 93% admitting that their productivity benefits from taking a lunchtime break away from the office.

Furthermore, when asked what helps keep them fresh and alert at work, 65% said getting away from their desk to eat lunch. This was followed by short 5-minute breaks for fresh air (56%), a lunchtime break from all devices (50%), minimising eye fatigue, such as looking away from your computer screen at regular intervals (44%), gentle stretches at your desk (41%), listening to music (37%), exercise at lunchtime (36%), regularly eating small, healthy meals or snacks (33%) and mindfulness or meditation (20%).

“People often believe they’re too busy or their to-do list is too long to be able to step out,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand. “But we don’t always need to be available at our desk. We can step away to eat and take a break.”

There are benefits to be had from taking a break. According to Nick, “Stepping out for a lunch time break can help avoid the 3pm slump and improve your afternoon productivity. You’ll come back refreshed and your attention span will increase.”

Leaving devices at your desk can keep you fresh and alert too. “Technology has blurred the lines between work and life, giving us a constant connection to work,” says Nick. “It’s important to down tools and step away from our devices during break times. Go for a walk to stretch your legs or sit in a nearby park. You’ll notice the difference in your improved level of productivity.”

Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

About Hays


Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.

For further information please contact Adam Shapley, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand, on adam.shapley@hays.net.nz or +64 (0) 9 375 9424.

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