Just 5% of people take a homemade lunch to work, a new survey has revealed. 

Of more than 300 office workers asked by national health and safety law consultancy Protecting.co.uk, fewer than one in 20 workers brought their own lunch in to the office.

Of other lunchtime options, 14% used the staff canteen, 13% went to a fast food establishment and 16% bought sandwiches from a shop. More than a fifth (21%) skip lunch altogether.

The research found that factors contributing to fewer packed lunches in the office are strict rules around eating at desks as well as the increasing convenience of readymade sandwiches.

Protecting.co.uk says this has caused people to turn to unhealthy snack foods, or miss out on a midday meal altogether.

Mark Hall, spokesman for Protecting.co.uk, said: “It’s well known that worker productivity is linked to both decent breakfasts and lunches. It appears that thanks to so-called convenience foods, fewer employees are eating properly. The number of people who have a proper meal during their working day is depressingly low. And we’re shocked at the number of folk who go without something to eat at all.

"The sight of the workplace lunchbox is becoming increasingly rare.”

The results:

  • 5% brought in a packed lunch from home
  • 14% used the staff canteen
  • 13% went to a fast food establishment
  • 16% bought sandwiches from a shop
  • 9% have a pub lunch
  • 22% eat sweets and crisps from the vending machine
  • 21% don’t have lunch at all