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Skip­ping lunch or eat­ing at your desk again? Well, you’re in good com­pany: on­line job board Ca­reerJunc­tion’s re­search found that most of­fice work­ers don’t take a lunch break and that the av­er­age South African of­fice em­ployee works an ex­tra 2,2 years of over­time as a re­sult. “That amounts to a stag­ger­ing R512 465 worth of free work,” says Odile Baden­horst‚ Ca­reerJunc­tion’s Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ager. Bear in mind that this fig­ure is higher if you earn above the na­tional av­er­age.

In a sur­vey of some 3 000 South Africans, Ca­reerJunc­tion found that only one in three take their full lunch break, while more than one-third skip lunch al­to­gether two to four times per week.

Rea­sons for skip­ping their break in­cluded a heavy work­load, last-minute tasks pop­ping up, hav­ing to cover for co-work­ers and want­ing to leave work ear­lier.

One in three peo­ple sur­veyed were al­lowed a 30-minute lunch break‚ 7% were al­lowed a 40-minute break and 55% were given a 60-minute break. But the av­er­age time taken for lunch each day was just 24,5 min­utes.

While a ded­i­cated work ethic is ad­mirable, reg­u­lar breaks are bet­ter for you, as they in­crease your pro­duc­tiv­ity, im­prove your men­tal well-be­ing and boost cre­ativ­ity. –

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