Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

No wonder your desk is so messy

The other day, we received a press release on a new survey that indicated that fewer than half of employees take a lunch break away from their desk.

The news came from talent and career management firm Right Management, which in partnership with LinkedIn, asked 2,311 employees: “Do you take a break for lunch at work?”

Only 47 percent of respondents said they always take a lunch break away from their desk. Twenty percent said they take a break, but usually at their desk; another 19 percent answered “from time to time,” and 13 percent said “seldom, if ever.”

It may come as no surprise, but 53 percent of C-suiters and VPs said they always take a break. And overall, men take more breaks than do women (49 percent v. 42 percent).

Youth also was a factor—57 percent of those ages 18-24 say they take a break. Breaks declined with age, dropping to 45 percent for those 55 and older.

So—assuming you are a fed who spends all of your time in an office environment (and not in the field, on patrol or on a mail route), what’s your story? Are you a hopeless desk jockey? And how do the results detailed above jibe with your experience?

(In the spirit of full disclosure, the author of this post is eating a lunch of leftover pasta as he types this.)

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Sep 10, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 Chris Ohio

"WORKING" lunches are illegal (Federal Law; google/bing it), unless you are compensated for the time.
IE...if you are at work 8.5 hours, get paid for 8, yet your boss insists you do work during that .5 hours which is considered to be a lunch break...that is ILLEGAL -- file a complaint with federal wage and hour.

Mon, Oct 4, 2010 Grace GA, USA

I rarely take a lunch break because the area that I work does not have decent eating places nearby. Although the building has a cafeteria I question the cleanliness of the place and my imagination works overtime each time I have tried the food so I end up throwing away most of it. A piece of fruit helps me get through the day.

Wed, Sep 15, 2010 Lakeview, OR

For years I have been working at my desk during my lunch break. When I started, my supervisor wanted the phones answered and asked me to sit at my desk while I consumed my meal and answered the phones. My new supervisor has told me that I must take a lunch break away from my desk and included it in my performance evaluation. Our office is 15 minutes out of town, so taking a 1/2 hour lunch break is not realistic. I end up sitting in my car. Different management styles.

Wed, Sep 15, 2010

It is aggrevating because my boss insists that on breaks everyone stays on the no walks for anyone even though most of us have ergonomic issues with our desks! For lunch she insists that it is only a 1/2 hour, but she must change the rules for herself because everyday my boss takes well over the 1/2 hour. If you are sitting in the break room my boss will bring work and discuss it with you during your break or I guess it would be considered a working lunch/break. Most of the employees here are counting the days till she retires.

Tue, Sep 14, 2010

With only .5 hour for lunch, by the time I drive some place, order, and drive back, I would have all of 10 minutes to eat lunch so I eat at my desk. Besides, I don't care for fast food. I would much rather bring leftovers. It's cheaper and I know what went into it and what didn't (you never know what is lurking in some of those restaurant's kitchens!).

Show All Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above.

2021 Digital Almanac

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question