questionswhen you eat your lunch while working do you…

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I'm not above gloating. We get two hour lunch breaks here, enough time to drive back to our apartment, each lunch, watch an episode of Arrested Development, and take a quick nap. I think I'm growing to like some things about this culture, hehe :3

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I'm a salary employee so this has it's benefits as well as it's negatives.

Pros:
* I can take whatever time I want to for lunch.

Cons:
* If the work doesn't get done, I have to stay extra hours to get it done.

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I have new found respect for the lunch hour and it's about time that we took it back

I travel quite frequently overseas for my job and the first thing I noticed is that the shrinking/vanishing lunch hour is an American only problem. Not only that, it's a problem we've brought on ourselves.

I was in several South American and Asian countries this summer for work and I was amazed to see how serious everyone took their lunch break. Not only did everyone eat together in the lunch areas and common rooms, but the office shut down for that period. Americans have created phrases like "working lunch" and have developed bad habits like eating at our desks. For what? We don't get any special award or raise for signing away our right to a hour lunch.

Take a look around, people no longer care about scheduling meetings during lunch hour - if we get a call during lunch, how many of us will really say "sorry I'm at lunch, let me call you back"?

I've taken my lunch hour back and it feels good.

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Depends, if I can I'll actually work through lunch and leave early, if not I'll take my lunch hour break, because if I ate at my desk it's because I was working therefore I need my mental break away from work too.

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@ryanwb: With the way the economy is now, if my boss wants to meet with me and it's during a "lunch" time, I'll still accept the invite for the meeting. I will not do anything to give him cause to fire me. I feel like I'm walking on a tight-rope as it is and I keep hearing rumblings about downsizing.

When you make yourself available and other employees seem to like you, it may be better for your career. If I refuse to meet with someone and tell them it's because that's during my lunch period, I'm just asking for trouble.

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luckily, i work at a small company and everyone knows my lunch hour is sacred. if i do happen to have a working lunch, i'll still take my lunch hour.

people need to be able to take a 30-60 minute break and not think about work otherwise productivity will decrease.

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I go home every day at lunch and feed my dog. He has stomach issues and I am on a 4/10 schedule so if I don't go home at lunch I am away for 12 hours. That's too long between meals. The people I work with understand that my dog is my only family, and there's never any issues with me swinging by to feed him even if we have already been given extra time for a holiday luncheon or some other work+food event. The fact that my house is only 4 miles away and I can go, feed him, and get back in 20-25 minutes means it isn't a lot of extra time. If it puts me behind I stay late to make it up, but I am usually way ahead on my workload.

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@cengland0: Obviously you need to make certain concessions, I doubt your boss wants to talk with you each day during lunch, so delaying it slightly is "business as usual" as far as I'm concerned. However, if you are in a state of flux where you are in fear of losing your job by taking a lunch, that is wrong and also highly illegal.

I understand that in a time where some are just happy to have a job, something like a lunch is just a luxury you give up. However as this practice goes from temporary to perminent it presents liabilities to both us and our employers. Any competent HR advisor would take great issue if lunches weren't being taken out of fear of job loss - just a HUGE liability to the company.

The recession is a great excuse for companies not to follow our labor laws, which makes it even more important for us to know our rights. The trend I am speaking about goes back probably a good 10 years now and has only been made worse. Give me back my lunch!

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@ryanwb: It's the American ethic of "productivity" imposed on us by corporate policy.
1. Downsize the workforce.
2. Workers will adapt or get canned.
3. ??
4. profit

j5 j5
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@ryanwb: Well, to make this worse, we are an international company. So when we have conference calls with the rest of the team, what time span should we not have the meeting to allow for people's lunch hours?

Just in the continental US, we have 4 time zones. Then we have the UK to consider. That would make it almost impossible to have any meetings because someone somewhere will always be on their lunch hour.

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I do not eat lunch while working. My lunch hour is my time to refocus(and eat).

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@stile99: Yes, What is this thing they refer to as "Lunch Hour"???
Meals are eaten between phone calls, requests for assistance from employees and Customers... The food should be warm, not hot or cold, just warm...

I also would like to know about this "Weekend" thing that everyone seems to be happy about...

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Legally... If you aren't salary and eat your lunch while working, you are entitled to pay for that time.

The Department of labor says:

"Bona fide meal periods (typically 30 minutes or more) generally need not be compensated as work time. The employee must be completely relieved from duty for the purpose of eating regular meals. The employee is not relieved if he/she is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating."

and

"Problems arise when employers fail to recognize and count certain hours worked as compensable hours. For example, an employee who remains at his/her desk while eating lunch and regularly answers the telephone and refers callers is working. This time must be counted and paid as compensable hours worked because the employee has not been completely relieved from duty."

source: http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs22.htm

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I worked in retail throughout high school and most of college and places were pretty different. The first couple places didn't really care, one scheduled your lunch break but didn't mind you coming back early. I would always eat and then get right back to work, because just sitting around waiting for my time to pass was honestly boring. The last retail place I worked actually gave me guff for coming back early, they insisted I take my full break.

I imagine when I get out into the real world, I'll get back to work once I'm done eating unless otherwise asked. I could mess around online or on my phone or whatever, but I'd honestly just rather get more done. I suppose this view could change if I were to obtain a salaried position, though.

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@hobbitss: Your weekend comment reminded me of this.