Tork Survey Reveals Loss Of Lunch Breaks Weighs Heavily On Millennials

Millennials, who make up the largest generation in the U.S. workforce, feel more pressure to not take a lunch break than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts, impacting their productivity, engagement and job satisfaction

A survey by Tork, an Essity brand and the maker of nearly half of the napkins used in the food service industry in the U.S., finds that Millennials – who are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force – are nearly three times more likely than Baby Boomers to believe coworkers would judge them negatively if they took a regular lunch break.

The survey, conducted as part of the brand’s award-winning Take Back the Lunch Break program, also reveals that Millennials have a greater desire to enjoy a real lunch break than other generations. The survey finds:

  • 62 percent of Millennials would opt for a longer or more regular lunch break if possible, compared to 46 percent of Baby Boomers.
  • 44 percent of Millennials strongly agree that they look forward to taking a lunch break, compared to 36 percent of Gen X employees.
  • 16 percent of Millennials would take a pay cut of 10 percent so they could take a lunch break every day, which is nearly double the percentage of Gen X employees and more than three times the percentage of Baby Boomers.

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This year, Tork has partnered with Joy Bauer, one of the nation’s leading health authorities, TV personality and host of NBC’s hit show, Health & Happiness, to spread the word about the health, wellness and workplace performance benefits of taking a lunch break. As someone who helps millions of Americans eat better, live healthier and lead more fulfilling lives by offering reliable and practical advice, Joy Bauer will join Tork in raising awareness and educating consumers about how taking time away from the office can have a significant impact on one’s mental and physical health.

“Choosing to eat a nutritious lunch is only part of the equation to living a healthy life at work,” said Joy Bauer. “What you eat matters, but where you eat matters just as much, and eating a so-called ‘sad desk lunch’ could make you feel unhappy and less productive. That’s why I’m teaming up with Tork, to encourage office workers to take back the lunch break and go out to eat a healthy meal with a coworker or friend. It will make a real difference.”

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In 2018, Tork established the third Friday in June as the annual National Take Back the Lunch Break Day, which falls on Friday, June 21 this year. On this day and every day, Tork is calling on employees and restaurants alike to rally behind the Take Back the Lunch Break movement and spread the word to coworkers and friends on social media by sharing photos of how they step away from their desks each day and reclaim their lunch break using the hashtag #takebacklunch.

“We understand that today’s employees – especially Millennials – often find it difficult to take a lunch break due to workplace demands and even a perceived stigma around leaving the office for lunch. That’s not good for business if you’re working in an office, and it’s especially bad if you’re working in a restaurant. At Tork, we are deeply committed to understanding our customers and what is impacting their business, so we wanted to start a movement and help create a happier, more productive workforce that also improves restaurants’ bottom lines,” said Don Lewis, President of Professional Hygiene at Essity, the global leader in professional hygiene.

To encourage employees and their colleagues to take the pledge to leave their desk during lunch, Tork has announced a contest for employees to win a free lunch for their office on National Take Back the Lunch Break Day on June 21.

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