# This Is How Many Extra Days You're Working By Not Taking A Lunch Break

Illustration: Assa Ariyoshi
Hands up how many of you office workers feel like taking a full lunch break is 'cheating'? An admission to everyone else on your floor that, "Well, yeah, I'm a bit of a slacker".
Nearly everyone, right?
New research from Workthere.com shows that the average worker in Britain takes just 34 minutes for their lunch. That's a waste of 26 whole minutes that belong to you. If someone offered you 26 extra minutes in bed, or in the pub, would you turn it down? Of course not. And yet that's exactly what we're doing.
Let's get down to the maths of this: in 2017, there are 252 working days. Take away 20 days of holiday and you're down to 232 days out of the year when you're probably going to be at work.
Now comes the scary bit: 232 days x 26 minutes = 6,032 minutes. This works out at just over 100 hours. Presuming you work about eight hours a day, that's about 12 extra days you're working every year by not taking your full lunch.
If we refer back to the study, it seems there are a number of factors behind this. 12% of the 2,000 workers surveyed say they feel pressured to work through their lunch hour. 32% felt that a quiet area to escape to over lunchtime would be beneficial. Because let's be honest – how many times have you dined al desko because the work common areas were a) non-existent or b) leaving a little something to be desired in terms of aesthetics and company?
Cal Lee, the founder of Workthere says it's important for offices to instil a lunch hour culture in order to increase wellness at work. Employers are, he says, "increasingly recognising the benefits of ensuring staff are content, happy, and most importantly in good health."
He continued: "Part of this is creating a productive office environment where employees feel comfortable taking a longer lunch break and engaging with colleagues."
For many (hello!), the problem lies in finding creative ways to actually fill an hour. 34 minutes kind of takes up walking slowly to the shop, getting a sandwich and having a chat in the kitchen, but what about when that's done? Filling a free hour every day off the back of your own volition takes some serious creativity.