What Employees Actually Do During Lunch Break

A recent survey revealed that 51% of Americans say they are unable to take a lunch break, and now a new survey looks into just how little time folks take out of their workday to consume a mid-day meal.

A new poll by Robert Half finds that for 56% of American workers the typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less, with only 27% of workers saying they actually get an hour for lunch and 7% saying they get between zero and ten minutes. 

Overall, folks in Salt Lake City, Utah get the shortest breaks for lunch, followed by Des Moines, Iowa and Cincinnati, Ohio, while workers in San Francisco actually get the longest breaks, followed by Los Angeles and Miami.

And the truth is, regardless of how long a lunch break is, few people are using that break just to eat. The most common use of a lunch break is to surf the web or social media (52%), followed by catching up with personal calls or emails (51%). Other uses for a lunch break include:

  • Socialize with co-workers (47%)

  • Run errands (32%)

  • Read (32%)

  • Exercise/take a walk (30%)

  • Work (29%) 

Source: Robert Half

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