Why eating at your desk is bad for you.
There are many occasions where I have sat at my desk and had my lunch. In fact in some situations it was the norm. Too busy to stop, and possibly laziness added into the mix too.
However there are three main reasons to stop this for the most part. The first is the cleanliness factor. Have you ever tipped your keyboard upside down to see the remnants of past sandwiches fall out? It’s similar to a toaster being cleaned out! Surely it’s not hygienic to touch our keyboards after weeks of not being cleaned and then put our hands to our mouths? Who else uses your computer and eats at your desk when you are not there?
Secondly it’s good for your body to get up and stretch your legs and improve blood circulation. It’s not uncommon for some people to only get up momentarily throughout a working day. If you have the opportunity to have a brisk walk around the block will give your brain a break and the chance to reboot, meaning by the time you get back to your desk, you’ll be a better employee with a fresher perspective.
Researchers have found that employees who socialise at lunchtime are going to be more productive that those that don’t. And if you’re being honest with yourself, while lunching at your desk, you’re probably spending more time on Facebook than meeting a deadline.
Spring is nearly here and you can maybe think of giving your employees an area outside to sit and eat their lunch. In fact, anywhere other than their desks. Perhaps make it a rule that they leave their workspace to eat and incentivise them in some way. I know that a well known car manufacturers in Northamptonshire incentivise their staff to go for a walk at lunchtime or organise for a personal trainer to come and offer bootcamp sessions after work.
It all goes back in the pot eventually with staff feeling valued and looked after. They will ultimately have a greater sense of loyalty and less sick days.
Things to put in place for a cleaner, healthier and more productive February:
Lunchtime rule – away from desks
Make an area in the building or outside for eating and socialising
Team event – race for life / mud run event
Buy some aerosol air dusters and disinfectant wipes for keyboard.