On the face of it, it’s easy to think lunch breaks shouldn’t be a top priority for entrepreneurs. With founders having everything from elevator pitches to prep for to revenue targets to hit, many understandably forgo midday snacks. However, this could mean they run the risk of productivity losses and a higher staff turnover, according to new research from Paymentsense, the card-machine provider.
The survey of 1,000 UK SME workers revealed that 47% of bosses rarely or never leave the office for lunch and when they do 49% rarely take more than 30 minutes away from the company to eat. Even more worrying, almost one in ten small-business leaders never break for lunch.
And it seems as if this is setting a bad example for employees, as over a third of SME workers surveyed said their bosses didn’t encourage them to take a break for lunch. Additionally, while a further 12% of staff were encouraged to take lunch break, they felt like their bosses would judge them if they did.
“Our results suggest that many time-poor bosses view lunch breaks as an extravagance they can’t afford,” said Guy Moreve, head of marketing at Paymentsense. “Not having enough time is often cited by those running SMEs as a major challenge, so it’s understandable lunch breaks get overlooked.” He added that while working hard plays “a significant factor in a successful enterprise,” entrepreneurs are encouraged to take and give daily breaks to “maintain productivity and well-being.”
In other words, entrepreneurs should take lunch seriously.