Just because you have to eat lunch at your desk doesn't mean it has to be a #saddesklunch. In fact, you can make it a fun and happy one! Here's how.
1. Pack something good.
If you're eating the same leftovers for the fifth day in a row or you packed something that's so boring, you can't even remember what it is, chances are, you're not going to want to eat it. Pack yourself a lunch that you're actually excited to eat and the meal will feel a little bit more special.
2. Straighten up your desk a bit.
Your desk is probably a little messy — and that's to be expected... because you're working! But you don't need to be reminded of that fact while you're enjoy your favorite brown-bagged sandwich! Before you break for lunch, wrap up whatever projects you can and put those papers away. Clear off the surface right in front of your chair (you can even move your keyboard aside) and you'll be able to eat in peace.
Note: There are all those studies that find desks to be super germ-y. We're not saying to eat off the surface, just to make room for your container, plate, or whatever you're eating out of.
3. Share the microwave and the fridge.
If your office has a shared pantry, be courteous about it. Don't put a cumbersome paper bag in the fridge if you can empty the contents and just stash a few smaller containers. Don't microwave your food for 10 minutes and walk away for 20. Don't leave messes. Don't eat someone else's lunch. You know the drill.
4. Stop working.
We get it: Sometimes you have to eat at your lunch because you just have too much to do. But make that the exception and not the norm. If you hadn't packed your lunch, you'd have spent some amount of time leaving the building to fetch something. Just because you don't need to leave doesn't mean you should give up that time. Use your 30-minutes (or whatever your company technically allows) to do something for you. Sign off of the computer and read a magazine, listen to a podcast or some music (with headphones, please!), or check your Insta on your phone.
5. Use real flatware.
During a study at Oxford University, people said the same sample of yogurt tasted better (and more expensive!) when they ate it with a silver spoon versus a plastic spoon. This could work with the salad you assembled at the corner deli or your homemade soup!
6. And a real napkin.
You could wipe your mouth on a paper towel from the kitchen (or that old expense report that's been cluttering your desk), or you could use a real napkin that will make you feel a little more like a real human.
Try these: The Best Cloth Napkins for Your Lunchbox
7. Keep a well-stocked desk.
In addition to your candies, nuts, breakfast foods, and other munchies, you need a good supply of condiments. This way, you can rescue bland-tasting food on the spot. And you don't have to worry about remembering to grab packets with your takeout order or have to deal with soggy lunches you packed from home. You — and your lunch — will be so much happier.
Read more: 5 Condiments to Keep in Your Office Desk
8. Invite a friend over.
Just because you're eating at your desk doesn't mean it has to be a solo activity. Ask a work friend if she wants to pull up a chair and eat with you. If your office has an open floor plan and you're worried about distracting others, move it to the conference room — maybe you can even enjoy some natural light!
9. Pack a little treat.
A small piece of chocolate, a little nibble of cheese, two gummy worms — you deserve it! After all, you are crushing it at work today.
What do you do to make eating at your desk a little nicer?