CPA Practice Advisor

OCT 2018

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

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OCTOBER 2018 ■ 45 THE PAYROLL CHANNEL The Shrinking "Lunch Hour" By Isaac M. O'Bannon, Managing Editor The lunch “hour” may be a concept of the past, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests. More than half of workers (56 percent) said their typical lunch break lasts 30 minutes or less. Among professionals in the 28 U.S. cities surveyed, those in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami take the longest lunches. Employees in Salt Lake City, Des Moines and Cincinnati have the shortest breaks. What are workers doing at lunch, besides eating? Respondents said they most frequently surf the internet or social media (52 percent), followed by catching up on personal calls or emails (51 percent). That’s up from 27 percent and 25 percent, respectively, from a 2014 survey. Twenty-nine percent of professionals confessed to working during lunch. View an infographic about lunch breaks at Data tables with breakdowns by age and gender are also available. Workers were asked, “What is the average length (in minutes) of your typical lunch break?” Their responses: 0-10 minutes 7% 11-20 minutes 8% 21-30 minutes 41% 31-40 minutes 4% 41-50 minutes 10% 51-60 minutes 27% More than 60 minutes 3% 100% Workers were also asked, “Aside from eating, which of the following activities do you usually engage in during your lunch break?” Their responses:* Surf the web/social media 52% Catch up on personal calls/emails 51% Socialize with coworkers 47% Run errands 32% Read 32% Exercise/take a walk 30% Work 29% *Multiple responses permitted. Top responses shown. “Even if only 30 minutes or less are available due to workloads or company guidelines, professionals should try to maximize lunch breaks to relax and recharge a bit,” said Brandi Britton, district president for OfficeTeam. “These days, people are quick to turn to their mobile devices to pass the time, but it can be a nice change of pace and good for relationship building to eat with colleagues.” Additional findings: ■ Workers ages 18 to 34 (60 percent) most often surf the web or social media during lunch, compared to those ages 35 to 54 (55 percent) and 55 and older (34 percent). ■ Professionals in Phoenix, Boston and Washington, D.C., work the most on their lunch breaks. ■ Employees in Miami, New York, Houston and San Diego most frequently socialize with colleagues during their breaks. ■ San Francisco, Chicago and Cincinnati may be the most health-conscious, with the largest number of respondents who exercise or take a walk during lunchtime. OfficeTeam offers five tips for workers to maximize lunch breaks: ■ 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. ■ Get to know colleagues. Socializing with coworkers or managers over lunch can strengthen connections. Also, network with contacts from other departments. ■ Track professional goals. Use the time to meet with your mentor to discuss career progress. ■ 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. ■ Take time for yourself. Running errands or taking care of personal tasks during lunch can result in a shorter to-do list later. LATEST PAYROLL NEWS Millennials Think It’s OK to Tap Home Equity for Household Bills. Twenty-four million U.S. homeowners believe it’s acceptable to use home equity to keep up with regular bills. How Tax Reform Has Affected Small Business Hiring. Small businesses were expected to benefit from tax reform, hence the projected increase in hiring plans. Retirees Advised to Check Withholding on Pensions, Annuities. The tax reform law changed the way tax is calculated for most taxpayers including retirees. Retailers Struggle to Find Seasonal Workers. Christmas has come early for workers hoping to score some extra money via a seasonal job this holiday period. Paychex Launches Learning Management System. 59% of HR leaders say it’s difficult to find and hire quality candidates because of the tightening labor market. 2019 Salary Guides Show Averages. The figures in the 2019 Salary Guide are based on national averages, compiled through Accounting Principals’ partnership with CareerBliss. THIS MONTH'S TOP PAYROLL SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS ■ Hidden Costs of Payroll. 3 Fees to Watch Out For. SurePayroll Blog. ■ 4 Payroll Features Every Small Business Owner Needs. Insperity Blog. ■ When Do You Have to Pay for Employee Breaks? Payroll Managing Inc. Blog. ■ What You Need to Know About Garnishments. ADP RUN Blog. ■ How to Solve Hiring in 8 Steps. SwipeClock Blog.

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