Employees who eat at their desk miss out on disco

by |

New survey findings revealed a whopping 60% of UK office workers don’t take a break for lunch, and instead wolf down a sambo at their desk. The issue is they’re working three weeks a year in free overtime – a one-way ticket to burnout.

According to the report by Birmingham’s Aston University, high stress levels led to feelings of guilt in taking more than half-an-hour breaks. What’s more, when workers did have the opportunity to leave the office, many used the time to catch up with business contacts.

They say there are vast differences between the UK and continental Europe, but heck they really know how to let their hair down across the channel.

A trend that started in Stockholm is quickly spreading to other cities in Europe – popping out during the lunch hour for a boogie complete with disco lights and club music, then heading back to work.

‘Lunch Beat’ was first started in 2010 in Stockholm with just a handful of lunchtime enthusiasts. Now, the Swedish capital has monthly Lunch Beats that attract hundreds.

Similar events have been held in at least 10 other Swedish cities and are gaining popularity in Finland and Serbia; Portugal is next on the list, then perhaps Canada?

A typical lunch beat party starts at noon and goes on for one hour. There's no alcohol, which gives it a different ambience than night-time clubbing, explained the organiser of Lunch Beat Stockholm. “People are sober, it's in the middle of the day and it is very short, effective and intensive,” he said. “You just have to get in there and dance because the hour ends pretty quickly.”

Heeding that advice, this month nearly 500 people paid 100 kronor ($A13.50) to attend at Kulturhuset, a cultural centre in downtown Stockholm – the events are not-for-profit, and the cover charges are used for rent and sandwiches for hungry workers.

Organisers say anyone can organise a Lunch Beat event as long as they follow a simple rule. Everyone must dance, and anyone who doesn’t want to is advised to eat their lunch elsewhere.


Top Lighter Side

What not to do: Facebook lessons from a political PR pro
Most hard-core workplace rules
Employees who eat at their desk miss out on disco
Punk rock HR: top 10 tips from music

HRM Online forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions