The working week. We all love to complain about these 5 days, usually with the help of dreary comments such as “god, I really don’t want to go to work tomorrow” and “is it not the weekend yet” and “I can’t believe its Sunday already” and “I might just sack all this off and travelling again… man”. Yet, for those of you familiar with these well-worn phrases, there is a glimmer of light in the work day, and that time is your lunch break. That mid-day slot when you have the opportunity to eat, unwind and relax. That 30-60 minutes which is yours, where you are free to do as you wish… within reason of course, steering clear of any binging or brawling.

So, this steers me nicely in the crux of my point- why is it that so many people, and I mean a lot of people, take this break, this break that they have ownership of, and decide to eat in the one place they complain about the most- their office.

What is food. Its stuff we put in our mouths, chew and swallow, so we can stay alive and do things, basically. However, food is obviously so much more than an essential nutritious mush, as it brings with it sensory enjoyment, social interaction, eclectic eating environments, and in the working day, a therapeutic distraction. It is also of course to blame for Gordon Ramsey, cauliflower rice and cookbooks written by Fearne Cotton, which are all of course, very crap things.

But despite these flaws, food gives us moments to relax, and enjoy life. So, this is why it’s so mind-boggling that the 21st century officer-worker-who-complains-about-office-working, voluntarily becomes an officer-worker-who-complains-about-office-working-whilst-eating-Pret-in-the-office. Actually, to be fair, Pret do make all their sandwiches on the day, which is pretty impressive, given how much time and complexity is involved in the making of a sandwich.

There’s a plethora of content on the internet, listing various reasons for not eating at your desk- “It’ll make you more productive”, “you’ll get along with your colleagues better”, “you’ll put on less weight”, “you’ll enjoy food more” and my personal favourite “if you sit too much… it will kill you”. Whilst I mostly agree with all these statements, isn’t there a more obvious way to deter people from eating at their desks?

5 reasons for eating at your desk;

  1. You can crack on with that Excel spreadsheet you’ve been working on
  2. You can catch up on all the recent news to do with wars, racism and TV paedophiles
  3. You can refer to the bottom right hand corner of the screen, and count how many minutes you have left to read aforementioned war/racism/paedophile news articles.
  4. You can avoid social contact, thus perfecting your internal mental monologue
  5. You will be safer in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, volcano eruption or a meteor impact.

Of course, the point I’m making is that there’s really no reason to eat at your desks, apart from the obvious meteor threat, which is a very real and current danger. However, the summer is now here- so let’s put the pens down, put the PC’s on hibernate, and give this mid-day slot what it deserves- an enjoyable lunch.

Written by Tom Barker