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Insight of the Day: Over 20 million workers eat lunch alone with desk dining having a negative effect on wellbeing

Key Points:

  • Widespread desk dining: 25 million UK employees eat lunch alone, with 84% spending their breaks solo.

  • Negative impact on wellbeing: Desk dining and lack of social interaction during lunch breaks can negatively affect employees' mood and stress levels.

  • The Big Lunch initiative: Greene King and the Eden Project have partnered to encourage social interaction and combat loneliness through shared lunches and community events.

  • Research findings:

  • 89% of respondents reported that eating with others improved their mood.

  • 27% said lunching with colleagues could be a stress buster.

  • 39% said it helped develop working relationships and friendships.

  • Barriers to social lunches:

  • 12% of respondents lack confidence to ask for company at lunchtime.

  • 11% say colleagues don't invite others to eat together.

  • Greene King's role:

  • Hosting in-pub events throughout June to bring people together.

  • Offering a competition for customers to win free lunches for themselves and colleagues.

Overall, the article highlights the prevalence of solitary lunch breaks among UK workers and their negative impact on wellbeing. It also promotes The Big Lunch initiative as a way to address this issue and encourage social interaction and community building.

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