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The Average South African Sacrifices Over R500 000 Worth Of Unused Lunch Breaks Over Their Career

Research released today by online job board CareerJunction has revealed that only one in three South Africans take their full lunch break.

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The research conducted amongst 3,000 South African working respondents suggests that more than a third of South Africans skip their lunch break altogether between two to four times per week.

 “The average South African works two and a half years overtime during their lifetime due to unused lunch breaks. That amounts to a staggering *R512, 465.00 worth of free work and unnecessary time spent at their desks instead of taking a break,” says Odile Badenhorst, CareerJunction’s Communications Manager.

Despite their being no written rule, employees have an unhealthy belief that it’s expected of them to skip lunch. “In this fast-paced world of work, it’s a common, and unhealthy, mindset that the more hours we work, with no break, the more we’ll be admired or rewarded,” she adds.

The truth is quite the contrary – According to research, it has long been proven that regular breaks, and a healthy, well-balanced lunch break in particular, increase employee productivity, improve mental well-being, boost creativity, and encourage healthy habits in the workplace. The Cost of a Lunch Break Survey confirms this; when asked how skipping their lunch breaks make them feel, most respondents listed unhappy, indifferent and stressed as emotions that accompany them when working though their lunch breaks. So, why then, are we working ourselves until burn out?

CareerJunction says that the research also showed that while the average lunch break allocated to employees is 60 minutes, the average time taken each day by South African employees is only 24,5

minutes. Only 5% take their full 60 minutes and although over two thirds say their employer encourages them to take lunch, 19% claimed they feel pressured not to take lunch, while 38% have too much work. In fact, 73% of participants said the reason they skip their lunch break is because they have too much work to do or an unexpected task cropped up.

A large percentage, 67%, said they eat at their desks while working, with nearly 60% eating leftovers or a packed lunch. And, even though most workers have access to a full kitchen or seating area, many prefer to eat at their desks, with 45% saying they spend under R100 per week on lunch.  Therefore, the fact that 57% of respondents said that the availability of amenities close to work – such as restaurants, shops, delis, convenience stores – has no impact on their choice of job application, makes sense when you look at the majority bringing lunch from home, or not taking lunch at all.

Related: What The Law Says About Employee Leave And Absence

Smoke breaks have long been a contentious issue in the work place with many non-smokers resenting the number of extra breaks smokers get. Smokers in South Africa take, on average, three to four smoke breaks a day with 42% of their colleagues saying they don’t mind if they do. 29% said they didn’t know or care.

So, why aren’t South Africans taking lunch breaks? “While our research revealed that the majority of South African employees listed unexpected work responsibilities or too much work as reasons, other reasons included having to cover for others, sacrificing lunch breaks to leave work earlier, financial difficulties or simply not caring about lunch,” adds Badenhorst.

While it’s encouraging to see, from the research conducted, that the ‘work till burnout’ culture is largely coming from the employees themselves rather than being enforced by employers, Badenhorst is still calling on employers to encourage their staff to take regular breaks away from their desks and enjoy all the benefits that come with this.

For the full survey results, please visit www.careerjunction.co.za/lunch

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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Amaphiko Academy Calls For Innovative Change Makers

Applications must be submitted by 6PM on 30 November 2018. Only South African citizens or residents will be considered.

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The world is constantly experiencing a myriad social problems and is thus always in need of strong innovators to bring about changes and fresh solutions.  Red Bull Amaphiko Academy is searching for new, innovative social change makers for 2019. Applications to be part of the Amaphiko Academy will be open between 01 October and 31 November 2018.

The Academy gives a platform to entrepreneurs who use their skills, talents and energy to solve social problems. The Red Bull Amaphiko program gives a platform to innovators who are transforming their communities through sustainable, socially-minded, grassroots solutions to make a bigger impact.

The Academy, which was launched in South Africa in 2014, has been home to over 50 participants over the past five years.  It has expanded to another 20 countries around the world. 2019 Will see four Red Bull Amaphiko Academies launch worldwide. The Academy inspires and enables social entrepreneurs to make a difference by giving them access to networks, information, skills, opportunities and exposure.

“Exposure to a broader international network of Amaphiko SEs and various specialists opened endless opportunities and gave me the most memorable lessons in my journey as an entrepreneur. By exposing me to a larger social network, Red Bull challenged me to expand my vision. Through it all I learnt that the calling to be a change maker fulfils more than just the financial goal. It is for the greater good of humanity.” Says Murendeni Mapfumo, Kusini Water co-founder and 2017 Red Bull Amaphiko graduate.

Related: Learning Innovation Africa To Showcase How Our Continent’s Learning Is Being ‘Uber’ed

The Academy, which takes 16 Social Entrepreneurs per cycle, starts with a ten-day residency program. It is then followed by 18 months of mentorship, coaching and expert guidance, helping entrepreneurs develop their enterprises and business acumen.

South Africa’s 2019 Red Bull Amaphiko Academy will take place in Durban between 16 and 26 May. Durban is one of South Africa’s biggest cities, and a hotbed of innovation and talent. Red Bull Amaphiko is looking for innovative, inspiring people to be part of this wonderful journey.

If you fancy yourself to be a creative social entrepreneur with a strong innovative edge, please log onto https://www.redbull.com/za-en/events/Amaphiko-Academy-Applications-2019/Red-Bull-Amaphiko-2019-Apply-NOW

Applications must be submitted by 6PM on 30 November 2018. Only South African citizens or residents will be considered.

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The Moldova Citizenship-by-Investment Program Is Officially Open To Applicants

The MCBI program, with its highly competitive pricing structure, will appeal to those who are not necessarily looking to relocate but who would like to secure a ‘plan B’ or expanded traveling access for themselves and their families.

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The Moldova Citizenship-by-Investment (MCBI) program — the latest and most exciting new investment migration opportunity in Europe — has been officially launched and is now accepting applications. Henley & Partners, global leaders in residence and citizenship planning – in partnership with its consortium partner, the Moldovan Investment Company – are assisting the Government of the Republic of Moldova in designing, implementing, and internationally promoting the much-anticipated MCBI program.

Amanda Smit, Director, Head of Henley & Partners Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, says of the Moldova program: “The launch of this prestigious new European program is momentous in the investment migration community as it boosts the industry’s relevance and value. The MCBI program offers investors a foothold in Europe and access to one of the fastest growing commercial hubs in the region, while also giving Moldova the chance to attract much-needed foreign direct investment and a set of highly qualified and carefully vetted new citizens.”

His Excellency Chiril Gaburici, the Minister of Economy and Infrastructure for the Government of Moldova, provides insight into the program’s origins: “The MCBI program has been specifically developed with the Moldovan people in mind. Our country has come a very long way over the past few years, and many of our most important industries are today thriving and growing. Now, in order to take the next step forward in our economic development, and also support the social wellbeing of all Moldovans, we need to welcome innovative new ways of generating capital. The MCBI program is part of this future-focused approach.”

Related: Enterprise Development Programmes For Black Entrepreneurs

The MCBI program requires applicants to make a defined economic contribution to the country through its Public Investment Fund. In exchange, and subject to a stringent vetting and due diligence process, applicants and their families are granted full citizenship rights that are transferrable without restrictions to future generations. They also gain a passport that facilitates travel access to 122 destinations around the world, including Russia, Turkey, and the countries in Europe’s Schengen Area.

The Moldovan passport is in fact one of the highest historical climbers on the Henley Passport Index, having ascended an impressive 20 places since 2008. The Moldovan Government is working hard to continue this upward trend and has already signed several visa-waiver agreements with foreign countries this year, further boosting the power of the Moldovan passport.

Smit elaborates on the program offering: “The attractiveness of the MCBI program lies in the country’s unique geographic position at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and its robust passport strength, combined with the genuine affordability and accessibility of the program. Moldova is a high-growth, high-potential European country, with strong economic and diplomatic ties with the EU, and many individuals around the world want to be part of its current and future successes. Certainly, Henley & Partners is proud to be a partner to this remarkable nation, whose citizenship-by-investment program is set to redefine the European investment migration landscape.”

Henley & Partners has recently recorded an upsurge of 229% year-on-year in South Africans applying for alternative citizenship, mostly looking into European states such as Malta and Cyprus. South Africa is currently ranked 52nd on the Henley Passport Index, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 102 destinations. This marked increase in applications can be attributed to a growing recognition of the need for global mobility. The MCBI program, with its highly competitive pricing structure, will appeal to those who are not necessarily looking to relocate but who would like to secure a ‘plan B’ or expanded traveling access for themselves and their families.

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Engen Learn Programme Provides Critical Life-skills

The Engen Learn programme has receive numerous national awards, including an award from Apple for innovation, the Future of HR Best Learning and Development Strategy award in 2017, and a Directors Best Choice nomination for the same award in 2018.

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Engen, in collaboration with FUEL Online Training, has delivered a record 3.5 million training interventions to Engen forecourt attendants around the country since its inception in 2013.

The training focuses on job skills and competencies related to customer service as well as critical life-skills which can be accessed via an iPad training app.

Community support material created for Engen staff includes basic first aid, drug and alcohol abuse prevention and understanding money management.

The programme has also offered 640 000-education interventions concerning people living with HIV, which still affects millions of South African families.

“We are very excited by the level of success achieved by our programme. The Engen sites that implemented Engen Learn have delivered increased customer satisfaction,” says Retail Training Academy Manager, Renee Kemm.

The Engen Learn programme has receive numerous national awards, including an award from Apple for innovation, the Future of HR Best Learning and Development Strategy award in 2017, and a Directors Best Choice nomination for the same award in 2018.

“This a ground breaking solution which, if nurtured, has the power to be a truly transformative force in South Africa. Our reach allows us to directly inspire thousands of employees, who in turn are empowered to impact on their families and communities,” adds Kemm.

Related: How Does One Start a Petrol Station in South Africa?

Below are some comments received via survey from service station staff about Engen Learn:

  • “Ever since the introduction of Engen Learn I learnt so much and not only about the industry but am happy to say am now debt free because I followed what I learned here.”
  • “When I started as a Cashier it was just a job. The Engen Learn modules about the history of Engen fascinated me. Today, even the President, is not as happy as I am in my job. All thanks to a simple app.”
  • “Engen Learn has taught me to be strong and resourceful manager and it has given me some powerful life lesson especially when it comes to budgeting and being a responsible person in life.”
  • “I have learned to identify someone who uses substances. I learned how to budget. I have learned how to deal with someone who is HIV positive.”

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