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The How-To Lounge: Tips for Eating at your Desk

If you're anything like me, you very rarely have time to sneak out of the office for a lunch break, which leaves you with no other place to eat your lunch then at your desk. Below are some tips to live by when you can't break away for a quick bite.

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  • Respect your office mates and don't eat foods that will smell up the room. Stay away from fish, cooked broccoli, eggs, cheese etc.
  • When you eat at your desk, you're less focused on your lunch, which can lead to over-eating. Try not to multi-task and concentrate more on your food, just like you would if you were at a restaurant
  • Avoid fast food restaurants and unhealthy take out restaurants. If you can, bring your lunch so you can make the right food choices
  • Be sure not to let your food sit out unrefrigerated for more than three hours. If you have a fridge in your office kitchen, put your lunch in it when you get into the office
  • Spills are inevitable when eating at your desk. If you can, use a place mat and always remember to wipe down your desk before getting back to work
  • Move your key board and any important papers away from where you eat, you don't want to splatter on your documents or computer
  • Always throw your garbage away in the kitchen or away from your desk. Leaving food containers in your cube or office will stink up the room all day
  • No matter how busy you are, try to get out of the office at least once a week for lunch -- you work hard and deserve a break every once in a while

Lunch breaks are meant for just that, so make sure you take a few breaks through out your day to get your legs moving, your blood flowing, and a few breaths of fresh air!


Join The Conversation
wendy645 wendy645 9 years
I eat at my desk 98% of the time, and I like it even better no that I was moved to my own office. No more people staring at me. Plus they all know I have food issues and can't handle people looking at me when I eat so everyone steers clear at lunch time. They're sweethearts. But you are definitely not alone, everyone who madly tries to swallow to answer phones!!!
helgatheweber helgatheweber 10 years
We're not allowed to eat at our desks which sucks. We get 2 fifteen-minute breaks and an hour for lunch. By the time I take my first break, I'm starving, but then I need my nicotine fix. When my lunch hour comes along, I'm no longer hungry. Argh.
c0rkie c0rkie 10 years
i like this :D
Rachie-Rees Rachie-Rees 10 years
nice, clean & sensible tips- thanks dearsuger!
d_ford d_ford 10 years
Summer, haha, I'm in the same boat as you! My break is at 1pm, I start at 8.30am, so I eat my breakfast and mid-morning snack at my desk. Where everyone can see me. I answer phones as well, and there definitely have been times that I'm madly trying to swallow food before I answer the phone. Glad to know I'm not the only one.
fab4 fab4 10 years
throwing your trash in the kitchen garbage can is the biggest! That is my only pet peeve about people eating lunch at their desk....looking at the leftovers and trash right beside my desk.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
There are a few times a month when I eat at my desk. I always bring my lunch and it's usually pb&j or non-smelly foods.
summer-roberts summer-roberts 10 years
I do try to use the breakroom as much as possible, but my lunch is at 1 and I am starved by then. I usually eat a granola bar at my desk while I work. I answer the phones at my place of employment so I be sure to take small bites and not let the phone ring too many times while I try to swollow.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
I eat lunch at my desk almost every day. I hardly ever get out of the office, I don't like it. It kind of sucks, too, because I have a desk where everyone can see me, not a cubicle, so I feel like a dork sometimes putting food in my mouth and then having someone walk by. I'm like it's lunchtime, why aren't you outside?!? And then I'm like, oh yeah, I'm not even outside!
dcmurray1970 dcmurray1970 10 years
I always eat at my desk. Thanks for the tips. You gave a couple that I hadnt thought of.
Chica8a Chica8a 10 years
great tips!
pinupsweetheart pinupsweetheart 10 years
We typically eat at our desks - only because it is 120 degrees outside and we don't want to go. :)
nicachica nicachica 10 years
ha! saw this post right when i started eating lunch at my desk! lol...good thing i already followed these rules (well except for the trashcan one). :)
jmmst49 jmmst49 10 years
I eat nearly every day at my desk. Actually for three months I never went out to lunch. I agree with all of these suggestions. I always turn my desk chair around and stare out the window while I eat. That way I dont spill on anything.
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