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Give me a [lunch] break!17 Jan 2012 08:49 am

hlg_worklunchgrid-6x2.jpgAmericans aren’t likely to fight for a lunch break. But citizen lunchers from many other nations would, and do. Take workers in Hong Kong.

Last week, about 1,000 securities brokers and traders, and restaurant employees, protested at the headquarters of the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. over a proposed reduction in their lunch break from 90 minutes to an hour, according to Bloomberg.

An hour!? Workers in this country hardly get a few minutes and they don’t seem too upset about it. Most of you are actually eating at your desks. About 65 percent of employees here either eat at their desk or don’t take lunch breaks at all, according to a survey by Right Management, an HR consulting firm.

“Lunch patterns allow us to infer a few things about the North American workplace; and one thing that we already know is that the pressure for productivity and performance can be relentless,” said Michael Haid, senior vice president of talent management at Right Management. “Employees may feel they have to apologize for stepping out, but in the long run this kind of company culture does not help improve performance or engagement.”

And executives aren’t a great example either. (more…)

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