Increase Employee Productivity by Encouraging a Break

Within the UK the majority of employees who work full time do not take a lunch break.

This may sound surprising! This fact has been largely attributed to two reasons; firstly, general pressure of workload and secondly if their boss does not favour taking a break and works through this period there is a sense of expectation that this work ethic should be emulated through the ranks.

According to Working Time Regulations, the minimum legal ‘break’ requirement for employees working six or more hours a day is 20 minutes. Employers tend to allocate all of their employees an hour lunch break and yet only 29% of 2,000 full time workers surveyed take a full hour.


A third of employees choose to stay in the office during their allocated lunch break, they eat at their desk whilst replying to emails and answering the telephone. Whilst half of the employees admitted that they do not use the time to relax and often completely miss eating lunch altogether.


Employees who choose to skip their lunch break tend to be less focused, less productive and grumpier in the afternoon. They also tend to be less satisfied with their job and therefore it can lead to a strain on the employee’s mental wellbeing.

The head of prevention at the National Charity Partnership, Babs Evans, stated that “Work-related stress puts a strain on your mental wellbeing and can have a knock-on effect on your physical health. People under too much pressure at work are more likely to eat unhealthily and stop being active: behaviours which are linked to a number of health conditions. Even just a 10-minute break away from your desk to go for a walk and clear your head can help to make a big difference with stress relief, which in turn is good for your health.”


The BBC reported many health advantages for employees eating lunch away from their desks. For example, eating whilst still working can cause overeating and ultimately weight gain. This is due to employees ‘mindlessly eating’ without thought into what, or how much food they are taking in.

Walking around during a lunch break can help prevent musculoskeletal problems from poor desk posture as well as reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which is caused from long periods of time sitting still.

In moderation fresh air and the suns’ rays can encourage the body to produce Vitamin D which is beneficial for both the mind and body.

Eating at your desk is not particularly hygienic. Computer keyboards tend to have high levels of bacteria, often more than a toilet seat and any food near the bacteria can feed off of it.


Encouraging employees to take a proper lunch break can help increase a positive working atmosphere, morale, productivity, employee self-motivation as well as decreasing absenteeism and increasing retention. All of which can help ensure a company is profitable.

If you are a decision maker for your company why not speak to a member of the BDHL team about further employee benefits that could help increase employee productivity through health and wellbeing.

As an insurance broker BDHL monitor the market to find a health and protection insurance policy that fits your business. We then set up, monitor and manage your scheme and then review the premiums annually. We are also happy to give feedback on exiting health insurance and protection schemes.

Call the relationship team today on +44 (0)1892 891900 email