76% of Employees Prefer a Designated Lunch Area, Survey Says

Not Offering a Space for Employee Lunch is Having Negative Impacts on Morale

How many times have you seen small business employees eating lunch at their desks?

Many small businesses don’t provide their employees a dedicated space for eating their lunch. So, with nowhere to go and sit to eat, it’s either employees eat at their desks or out somewhere nearby.

If that’s the case in your small business, new research by UK based interiors etailer Furniture123.co.uk finds that not offering a space for employees to eat their lunch has adverse effect on morale and productivity.

No Space for Employee Lunch Makes for Unhappy Workers

According to Furniture123, which conducted a survey of over 1,000 office workers in the UK, 56% of UK workers don’t have anywhere to eat their lunch in the office and they’re not happy about it.

Of these office workers, 1 in 3 don’t even have any form of breakout space to enable them to get away from their desk, leading to 69% of employees feeling less productive in the afternoon if they don’t leave their desk at lunch.

Without any form of breakout space, 46% of workers reported that they elect to go on a walk during their lunchbreak weather permitting, but almost half of these (47%) felt they had nowhere to go or didn’t like the local area. No surprise that 34% of employees say they resort to eating lunch at their desk, which they feel is having a detrimental effect on morale and productivity.

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Almost half (47%) of workers believe they would work more efficiently in the afternoons if they took a full hour for lunch, the study by the UK etailer of interiors furnishings for the home and bathrooms found.

Breakout Features Employees Want in the Office

Workers just want their employers to create office breakout spaces, perhaps lounge areas and canteen facilities, so they can eat lunch away from their desks and reset for the afternoon, according to the study.

When asked what breakout features they would like to see in the office, 76% of workers listed a designated lunch area as top priority, followed by sofas (70%) and bean bags (62%).

Completing the top 5 list of breakout features employees would like to see in the office were a garden or terrace (59%) and a ping pong table (52%).

“Happy workers are more productive. This sentiment has been proven time and time again, and it’s one of the many reasons why it’s so important to keep employees on side,” says Mark Kelly, marketing manager at Furniture123. “Providing staff with somewhere to eat lunch is an office essential, and the simple act of getting away from the desk and taking a break, even for ten minutes, enables workers to push the reset button and come back to work with a clearer head and renewed focus.”

So, have you provided breakout spaces for employees in your small business?

“All employers should consider investing in breakout spaces to aid productivity,” adds Kelly. “Whether creating a cosy corner with simple bean bags or commissioning a full breakout room with all the trimmings, the increased staff productivity will ultimately bring in more revenue to the business and the investment will pay for itself.”

Photo via Shutterstock


David William David William is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers franchises, brick and mortar businesses, public policy and other small business issues. He is also founding editor of WebWriterSpotlight.

2 Reactions
  1. I agree with the 76%. Gotta get away from the desk to eat. It’s a Pavlovian thing for me.

  2. You feel more rested if you are able to enjoy your lunch in another area. This way, you are not eating and working.