A new Right Management survey of 1,023 North American workers, which probably means the surveyors included Canada but not Mexico, could have HR managers everywhere chomping down on a giant mayonnaise-covered bun of malaise. Of these 1,023 "North American" workers, roughly 40% are eating at their desks while they work and more than three-fourths (81%) admit that, yeah, I don't really take what I'd call a "real" lunch break anymore. I tend to cube-graze. Please pardon the crumbs on my chair they haven't taken away yet, I meant to wipe them up. Why does everyone use hand sanitizer after using my keyboard?
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As if that's a "real" question anymore in today's workplace, where the straight line between break time and work time has baked into the crust of our modern work culture in the 400-degree convection oven we're calling economic recovery. Work-while-you-eat in your right-to-work state, because that's what we're doing now.
Federal law does not require employers to offer lunch or coffee breaks, but state laws just might mandate regular lunch breaks. So who at work will draw the short bendy straw to start enforcing the rules again when employees have so much on their metaphorical plates? Anyone? Anyone? Or do the laws need to be updated to reflect our modern eat-while-you-work-and-peck-at-gadgets workplace? Don't ask me, I haven't even had breakfast yet.
You can read the full survey summary here. Or you can lunch with your favorite labor law attorney.