A study explains the weird impact COVID-19 has on this meal

The work-from-home lifestyle was designed to create a better work-life balance where employees could take advantage of a flexible working situation in order to better things at home.

But the coronavirus pandemic forced nearly everyone out of their offices and shuttered inside homes for the foreseeable future — which has created an internal dilemma for some employees, according to a new study.

Remember when taking a 10-minute break during the workday seemed part of the job — and even sometimes was encouraged by your boss? Well, workers are feeling the crunch during COVID-19 where 60% of workers said they feel guilty taking any type of break including lunch.

A study commissioned by OnePoll on behalf of Freshly found that six in 10 employees feel guilty taking any type of break during work hours. Perhaps this explains why a recent survey found that the average workweek has increased by nearly 40%, with American workers adding an additional 15 hours per week. If you do the math, that comes to about an extra week of work, per the study.

The increase in work hours is likely a symptom of workers skipping things like coffee runs or fresh air walks due to some unknown reason. For instance, taking a lunch break signified a much-needed breather from your desk where you can congregate with colleagues or head outside to grab something to eat. Now, workers are confined to their homes and kitchens and your go-to lunch spots aren’t readily available.

But the strenuous remote day has more than a quarter — 29%— of Americans not taking any meal breaks during their workday.

What’s behind the sudden anxiety behind taking a break during the workday? Production, according to respondents.

More than ever, we are connected to work. Our sole means of communication and execution relies on the technology within our hopes connecting everyone together. Sixty-six percent of respondents said that they’re constantly worried about their productivity due to distractions that happen at home. Whether it’s trying to catch up on last night’s new episode or something else, the average American faces at least three distractions during the day. For workers that have kids, the survey said they expect at least six distractions, which is expected due to most children opting into a remote-learning environment for the new school year.

And as we’re finding out — maybe remote-working isn’t the best for maintaining a separation from work and life.

Sixty-five percent of respondents said they feel exhausted by the end of the day because they have the demands of work and a family under the same roof. Things like a commute often play a vital roll both mentally and physically in helping workers transition from a working mindset to a family mindset. But without these little pieces of our daily workday, things have become cloudy.

Other findings from the survey, which interviewed 2,000 working Americans, are workers who have picked up new roles while working from home such as being the household chauffeur, a chef, and a daycare supervisor.

Sixty-four percent of respondents said this remote lifestyle has made them put nutrition in the rearview mirror.