A recent study by Peninsula Ireland found that 63% of Irish workers admit to working through their lunch break with 73% declaring that they often work overtime without pay or time in lieu.
The study was conducted in January 2012 with 788 Irish employees. The same study was undertaken in 2010 but only 37% compared to 63% in 2012 confessed to eating their lunch at their desk and working throughout lunch hour. 58% blame missing lunch breaks due to having too much work.
Alan Price, Managing Director of Peninsula Ireland, has said: “Employees should ensure they take an hour lunch break so they are energised to tackle their afternoon deadlines. Many employees seemingly are struggling to get all their work done in normal working hours, and are sacrificing their lunch breaks to catch up. This is seen as more desirable then perhaps coming in earlier or staying late, so from that point of view it is admirable that workers feel the need to work an extra hour in order to complete all their tasks.
Mr Price added: “If employees continue to work through their break this will eventually be counterproductive, as it will only lead to higher stress levels and employees suffering more from tiredness. So whilst the intention of getting through all your tasks by working on lunch is commendable, in the long run it could well be detrimental to productiveness within the office.” Concluding, Mr Price said: “You need to be able to find the right balance between work and leisure time, its ok on occasion to do overtime but make sure you’re not persistently working more than you should. If you are feel you under too much pressure to complete all your assignments, then either talk to your line manager or delegate some of your work to other colleagues. You need to enjoy your break; have some good food and come back to work refreshed, that’s what lunch breaks are for."