Canadian Workers Prioritize Screen Time Over Face Time at Lunch

More Than Half of Professionals Take 30 Minutes or Less For Their Break

Toronto, ON — Most Canadian workers spend their lunch breaks ‘screened-in,’ new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests. While 45 per cent of professionals said they do socialize with colleagues at lunch, 49 per cent most frequently surf the internet or social media and 38 per cent catch up on personal calls or emails. Thirty-two per cent of professionals confessed to working during their break.


The research also revealed that more than half of workers (54 per cent) said their typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less. Of that group, seven per cent take no break at all.


View an infographic about lunch breaks. Data tables with breakdowns by age and gender are also available.


Workers were asked, “Aside from eating, which activities do you usually engage in during your lunch break?” Their responses*:


Surf the web/social media


Socialize with coworkers


Catch up on personal calls/emails




Exercise/take a walk


Run errands





*Multiple responses permitted. Top responses shown.


Workers were also asked, “What is the average length (in minutes) of your typical lunch break?” Their responses:


0 minutes


1-10 minutes


11-20 minutes



21-30 minutes


31-40 minutes


41-50 minutes


51-60 minutes


More than 60 minutes





“Even on the busiest days, it’s important for professionals to maximize the time they’re given for lunch and try to step away from their desks to refresh and refocus for the afternoon,” said Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Rather than defaulting to cell phones or other screen time for company, using a midday break to connect with colleagues can help cultivate a greater feeling of camaraderie and overall happiness at work.”


OfficeTeam offers five tips for workers to maximize lunch breaks:


  1. Have a well-balanced meal. Don’t skip what a midday break is intended for: eating. Choose nutritious foods that provide energy for the rest of the day.
  2. Get to know colleagues. Socializing with coworkers or your manager over lunch can strengthen connections. You could also network with contacts from other departments. 
  3. Track professional goals. Use the time to meet with your mentor to discuss career progress.
  4. Step away from work. Getting out and taking a real break can help you return to the office more productive. Try exercising or walking to clear your mind.
  5. Take time for yourself. Running errands or taking care of personal tasks during lunch can result in a shorter to-do list later.


About the Research

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 500 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments in Canada.



OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit Follow for career and management advice.