SINGAPORE: After noticing the growing difficulty of fitting essential activities into such a short break, an employee took to social media to say, “1-hour lunch break is too short for us people working in Singapore.”

“I mean, look at the number of people in this little red dot. All squeeze together here, not enough land to scatter us. The lunch crowd can be very scary. Walking requires time, queuing takes time, waiting demands time, and even eating and taking a toilet break also need time,” the employee wrote on r/askSingapore on Tuesday (Mar 26).

Despite acknowledging that it’s technically possible to complete all activities within the one-hour break, the employee emphasized that it often entails rushing through tasks or relying on luck to find a less crowded food stall to make it feasible.

The employee also shared her personal experience as a student, recalling how the allotted 30-minute break felt insufficient for activities like eating, playing, and using the restroom. 

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“Yes. It’s so crowded these days that it takes 15mins to find a seat, another 15-20 mins to queue”

In the discussion thread, numerous Singaporeans agreed with the employee and said that one hour for a lunch break is not enough nowadays.

One individual said, “Yes. It’s so crowded these days that it takes 15mins to find a seat, another 15-20mins to queue. There’s isn’t much time left to eat and get back to the office.”

While another commented, “Yes, especially if you work in the CBD. Its convenient to commute, but I absolutely hate the lunch crowd. Even the most mediocre places that serve terrible food at high prices have a queue.”

On the other hand, some individuals disagreed and argued that one hour is adequate, given that people schedule their breaks before or after 12.

One individual said, “1hr is fine if you can take it from 11 to 12, or 1.30 to 2.30. I personally like to leave at 11.15/11.20 walk 5 to 15 mins depending on my mood and get the food first rather than later where the food I want may not be available.”

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Another explained, “I don’t think it’s that 1 hour is too short. It’s that lunch time is at the same time for everyone. If companies can be more trusting and flexible, we can have lunch at 11am or 4pm, and crowding won’t become an issue.”

Additionally, some suggested that if they found the one-hour break inadequate, they should pack their own meals, as this would save them time walking to and standing in line at busy restaurants or hawker centres.

Alternatively, they could consider using food delivery services such as GrabFood or Deliveroo.

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