What Do You Do About Lunch When You Work From Home?

Sometimes I set a timer to remind myself to eat. Fun!

Photo: Martijn van Exel

Working from home comes with its own peculiar set of habits but none as troublesome as the sticky trap of what to do for lunch. In an office, lunch is a reason to get up, find your coat, run to the drugstore for shampoo, and also to eat. Even if your lunch at work is reheated pasta primavera that you eat at 11:17 A.M., as long as no one can see that you’ve already eaten, you can get up, leave your desk for a twenty minutes and run to the bank.

At home, the day is all yours. You are in charge of you. You can either eat everything in the house at once, or nothing until hunger drives you to house a bag of chips and a taco. Leftovers from the night before are a nice compromise — it feels like real food (because it is), and all you have to do is heat them up and eat them, whenever you want.

Buying things to make lunch when you work at home seems like an easy solution to this problem, but making lunch is fussy. I could buy the things to make a sandwich with a little salad on the side, but then I’d have to get up and make the sandwich. I would have to stop doing whatever it is that I’m doing, interrupting my workflow and also my concentration. If I sit down to eat that sandwich — at the table, or maybe in front of a TV show for like, twenty minutes — I’m on a break. A real break.

Sitting down is nice. Watching half an episode of Scandal during the day with the sun streaming in from the windows is better. Taking the time to water the stupid plants feels like a weekend, but on a Tuesday, and my god, where is the time, it’s 7 p.m., it’s dark out and I’ve watched an entire season of Say Yes to the Dress holding a bowl of grapes in my hand and I haven’t done any work. This is my fear. This is why I’m loath to eat lunch.

Nicole informed me that she eats lunch and takes a walk after lunch. I can add that to my list of “things I actually should start doing in order to preserve my sanity.” If you work from home, do you eat lunch? Like, a real lunch? Do you sit down and take the time?

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