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Here’s Why Eating Lunch at Your Desk Is Bad for Your Productivity


We all know that eating lunch at our desks is bad for our health, annoying to our coworkers, and just plain dirty. But did you also know that eating at your desk is just about the worst thing you could do for your productivity?

Fast Company spoke with Bob Posen, a productivity expert and author of “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours” to discover how this seeming time-saving move can actually cost companies down the line.

“If you start with the notion that having a quick sandwich at your desk is productive in the sense that it takes less time, that’s true,” Posen says. “But we don’t want a hard and fast rule — we want a functional rule.”

The best way to develop a functional rule for your lunch-time plans is to ask yourself what you get out of eating at your desk. At best, probably a few more minutes of tap-tap-tapping away at your keyboard, for which there might well be a hefty price tag later in the afternoon, when you’re tired and ragged out from spending your whole day staring at a screen.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Posen suggest asking yourself if you’d be better off taking a few minutes alone, to recharge, or to with colleagues, to connect, instead of isolating yourself in your cubicle all afternoon. Alternately, a trip to the gym or a quick nap (if you can swing it) might be more energizing than isolation, leading you to actually produce more — and be way happier about it.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you eat lunch at your desk? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

More from PayScale

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lunch at desk

(Photo Credit: sk8geek/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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