By law you have to. But a new study suggests that millennials fear they might be seen as lazy if they actually take it.
The study, by paper products manufacturer Tork, shows that millennials – now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force – feel more pressure to not take a lunch break than their Gen-X and Baby Boomer counterparts, impacting their productivity, engagement and job satisfaction.
Millennials have a greater desire to enjoy a real lunch break than other generations but are nearly three times more likely than Baby Boomers to believe coworkers would judge them negatively if they took a regular lunch break.
Those fears appear to be grounded in reality, as 31 per cent of millennial managers said employees who takes regular lunch breaks are less hard-working compared to only 15% of Gen X bosses.
“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,” Don Lewis of Essity, the company that owns Tork, said in a statement.
Other findings were that 62 percent of Millennials would opt for a longer or more regular lunch break compared to 46 percent of Baby Boomers.
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.
Tork established the third Friday in June as the annual National Take Back the Lunch Break Day in 2018, which falls on Friday, June 21 this year. They are encouraging employees to spread the word and share photos on social media of how they step away from their desks each day and reclaim their lunch break using the hashtag #takebacklunch.