Bagging Breakfast Weighs on Workplace Productivity

November 27, 2007 ( - It may be "the most important meal of the day", but many would just as soon grab a few extra winks.

In fact, a third of office workers in the UK say they would rather grab a few minutes extra sleep than breakfast, according to a survey by Ipsos Mori. Seventeen percent of British office workers never have breakfast and a comparable number have it “just” one to three times a week.

The survey found that 8% of 1,051 office staff questioned also regularly skip lunch – and 27% of those also don’t eat breakfast during the week. The survey authors claim that those poor eating habits (more like a non-eating habit, it seems to me) cost companies some $34 billion annually due to 97 million lost working days.

Breakfast “Links?”

The survey, which it should be noted, was commissioned by food service company BaxterStorey, estimated skipping breakfast cost companies $46.5 million in lost working days, with “many studies finding a link between eating breakfast and attention span, learning ability and general well-being,” according to Reuters.

Of course, the survey found most employees (92%) do, in fact, have lunch. However, the survey noted that only 11% had the recommended eight or more drinks during the working day.

The figures for lost productivity were compiled using figures and calculations supplied by the Office For National Statistics and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.