Anyone who has worked from an office knows it: eating at your desk is a reality of the modern workday. The era of leisurely business lunches over multi-course meals and drinks is a thing of the past, replaced by full workloads, pressing deadlines, and the need to multitask.
Even if a desk lunch can help you power through your to-do list, there are also drawbacks associated with not taking some time away to recharge and relax. But because desktop dining is often an unavoidable part of our routines, let’s look at what can be done to counter the disadvantages, including how office food delivery can encourage better habits.
What To Avoid During Desk Lunches
The benefits of eating lunch in a communal setting are easy to point out: you get time to step back from work, screens, and repetitive tasks, plus there are more opportunities to socialize. It’s also well known that taking breaks is necessary to maintain focus and motivation. But many days, it’s just not realistic to take a large block of time off in the middle of a jam-packed schedule. Often, downtime gets squeezed into short bursts between filling up on coffee and walking to and from meetings.
With free time broken up into little “snacks,” it’s easy for your eating patterns to follow suit—you literally start sustaining yourself on foods from the vending machine. But if you can make more sustainable choices, you can avoid some of the desk eating traps that are easy to get stuck in.
One of the most impactful steps you can take is to bring your own lunch. That way, you control what you eat, avoiding the oversized portions and extra costs of restaurant food. And while packing a lunchbox may conjure up images of one of your parents wrapping up a carefully-made sandwich before school, these days, there are plenty of options that will spare you the added effort. FreshDirect, for example, offers a wide range of prepared salads, sandwiches, and more meal options that you can simply take with you in your bag. That way, a wholesome lunch will be waiting for you in the office fridge and you won’t have to waste time waiting for delivery or standing in line at the takeout place. And while you’re grabbing something easy to eat at your desk, why not stock up on better-for-you snacks so you have an alternative to the junk.
If you’re an office manager, you can also encourage better eating habits among your employees by using office food delivery to provide them with healthier options. On FreshDirect, in addition to individually-portioned meals for the workplace, you’ll also find plenty of platters for serving larger groups, as well as bulk items that make it easy to fill the pantry with rounded snacks and drinks.
The same principles apply before and after work, too. If you skip breakfast at home, you’re probably stopping for less nutritious options on the way into the office, or even forgoing it completely (it’s the most important meal of the day, after all). And long hours can often lead to grabbing fast food and the like on the way home. Make it easier to resist these temptations with better breakfast options that you can grab and take on the go (or keep in the office pantry) as well as easy-to-heat prepared meals that you can enjoy after a long day.
Finding Balance At Lunch
No matter how convenient it is, eating at your desk is of course not something you want to do every day. Too much multi-tasking and hyper-productivity is a recipe for burnout. Try to have at least some of your meals away from your desk, and make sure to move around during that time too. One of the simplest joys you can put in the middle of the work day is having a packed lunch in the park or in the break room with your co-workers. You might even find that taking this time out makes you more productive during the rest of the day.
If you oversee a workplace, maintaining a communal atmosphere that encourages your team to take breaks when they can, and to make healthier decisions when they can’t, is one of the most important things you can do to maintain employee satisfaction. Your office should have a welcoming, dedicated space for employees to eat, relax, and gather. Additionally, the pantry should be a space for more than just coffee. Use office food delivery to fill it with fresh fruit, hydrating beverages, and a variety of snack options. If you can, put breakfast and lunch events on the calendar, either in smaller groups or as a whole team, with food that they’ll appreciate (platters from FreshDirect are great for this).
In the end, remember that even if it seems like today’s workday routine is keeping you from living and eating healthily, taking even a few small steps toward healthier choices and prioritizing your well being will make a world of difference in the long run.