A third of secretarial and support professionals take less than 15 minutes for lunch

  • Only one in four take 30 minutes or more
  • Almost 60% don’t get away from their desk

Data from the Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey has revealed that a third of secretarial and support professionals take just 15 minutes or less for lunch, second only to HR workers. The survey has also shown 60% of secretarial and support professionals spend their lunch at their desk rather than getting outside or spending it elsewhere in the office.


Short lunches for secretarial and support professionals

Across professions, the survey found that on average 41% of workers took 30 minutes or more for lunch, while only 26% of secretarial and support staff did the same.

Serena Pook, Manager, Secretarial and Support Recruitment at Robert Walters says “These results clearly show that working through lunch is not a phenomenon limited to professions traditionally associated with long hours. Professionals from fields like HR and office support are, if anything, more likely to forgo their break than their colleagues. Regardless of division however, while many professionals are content to stay in the office for lunch or even to work through their break, senior managers should be aware of the impact this kind of company culture can have on staff morale.”


Long working hours an issue for professionals

The survey also showed that over 21% of professionals felt that long working hours or a negative company culture would be the most important factor in leaving their job, deeming this more important than a disappointing salary review, lack of a bonus, limited flexible working options or poor relationships with their colleagues.  Only working with a difficult boss (22%) or a lack of career progression (35%) were considered more important.

Serena  adds: “Considering more than a fifth of professionals cite long working hours as a potential motivation to change jobs, managers should consider actively encouraging staff to take a break during their working day.”


To request further information, please contact:

Alan O’Doherty

Tel: 0207 509 8839

Email: alan.odoherty@robertwalters.com

Robert Walters is one of the world's leading specialist professional recruitment consultancies and focuses on placing high calibre professionals into permanent, contract and temporary positions at all levels of seniority. The UK business recruits across the accountancy and finance, banking, HR, legal, IT, sales, marketing, risk, compliance, tax, treasury, procurement and supply chain and support fields. Established in 1985, the Group has built a global presence with 53 offices spanning 24 countries.

The Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey polled over 700 professionals on a range of career lifestyle questions, including attitudes to career progression, work-life balance, working overseas and their contribution toward the success of the business.