The Perils of Eating Lunch at Your Desk

Put down that sandwich!

According to the NY Times, 62% of professionals eat lunch at their desks, and other studies say that number could actually be as high as 80%.

But it’s hard to picture Batman chowing down on leftovers at his workstation in the Batcave. Maybe that’s because he knows that eating at your desk isn’t good for you. In fact, the case against eating lunch at your desk is pretty strong.

Here are three reasons to leave the Batcave at lunch time – besides avoiding getting crumbs in your keyboard.

Your Health

When you eat lunch at your desk, odds are you’re not completely focused on what you’re doing. In order to enjoy your food and eat mindfully, you’ve got to pay attention. Not only will you get to savor what you’re eating, you’ll also be more likely to stop eating after you become full – something people don’t always notice when they’ve got one eye on their computer while they munch.

Besides, lunch is the perfect time to get out of your chair and move around. You want to get that blood flowing so you’ll be back and ready to tackle the bad guys as soon as your hour is over.

Folks who sit all day put themselves at risk for:

  • muscle degeneration
  • leg disorders
  • strained necks and backs, and
  • organ damage, including heart disease and pancreatic problems.

As a hero manager, you need to stay in fighting shape if you’re going succeed.

Your Sidekicks and Fellow Heroes

There’s a reason superheroes team up so frequently. Your relationships, both personal and professional, at work are important; personal relationships enhance your overall job satisfaction, and good luck getting anything done without developing professional relationships.

But it’s hard – if not impossible – to foster relationships when you’re hiding out at your desk during lunch.

A Cornell University study found that firefighter teams that regularly ate together were more likely to demonstrate better ground performance and cooperative behavior. That’s because spending time together helps form a bond that can really pay off.

Think of lunch as an opportunity to network with your fellow heroes and make yourself available to employees.

Your Productivity

Think you don’t have time for a lunch break? Chew on this: Researchers have found that professionals who take breaks and socialize are, in fact, more productive than those who don’t.

The truth is, even if you’re the Six Million Dollar Man, you’re not a machine. People have limitations and need mental and physical breaks. And lunchtime is the perfect time to step away from your work and refresh yourself for the afternoon.

Ever been stumped about a problem, walked away from it and then, from out of nowhere, been struck by a solution? That’s because you gave your brain the opportunity to consider fresh ideas that might have seemed too “outside the box” to consider while you were at work.

Giving yourself a break during lunch by physically removing yourself from your workspace will allow your brain to reboot and get ready for post-lunchtime tasks.

Realistically, there are always going to be days when eating lunch at your desk is going to happen. You might be swamped with work or feeling like you need some quiet time to yourself. We get it, even Superman needs a break every now and then.

But making a habit of eating at your desk every day is something to avoid – if only to keep stray bits of food from jamming your gear.

Who’s guilty of working during lunch? Let us know in the comments if you think you’ll be able to fight back and put down the sandwich

End Workplace Misunderstandings: 5 Ways to Listen More Effectively

Ever witness an epic clash between two people you thought were both heroes and thought, This could all have been avoided if they would just listen to each other?

Forget the grappling hook – effective listening is one of the most important skills in the superhero manager’s tool belt. It might not help you scale walls, but it can stop two major enemies –  conflict and confusion – before they have time to set in and wreak havoc on employees.

Here are a five ways you can improve your listening skills and stop misunderstandings before they snowball into the next Batman vs. Superman. [Read more…]

Spot the Bad Guys: 6 Signs It’s Time to Let an Employee Go

Superheroes in comic books and movies have it made: It’s easy to tell the good guys apart from the bad guys. Hint: The bad guys are usually the ones laughing maniacally in poorly-lit lairs.

Managers, on the other hand, have a tougher job. It’s not always easy to spot the villains and goons lurking in your department. Many of them have gotten good at blending in with the rest of the crowd – so good, in fact, that some of them may even be managers!

The good news: Every bad guy has a tell – and you don’t need X-ray vision to spot them. Here are six signs you’ve got a villain-in-the-making on your hands who needs to be let go. [Read more…]

Gasp! 10 Warning Signs You May Be The Office Villain

It can happen to the best of us: Jean Grey turned into Dark Phoenix; the second Robin became Red Hood; even sweet little Anakin Skywalker was eventually consumed by the Dark Side.

If they’re not careful, heroes can slide into villainy. It starts small – letting your nemesis off with a warning here, a little micromanaging there – but before you know it, you’re plotting to take over the world and employee morale has evaporated.

Here are 10 warning signs you might be the villain in your own story – if any of these sound familiar, it’s time to save yourself… before it’s too late! [Read more…]