Grabbing lunch at your desk again? It might not be a horrible idea.
A new study finds lunch time to be more enjoyable if people get to choose what they want to do, and not if they feel pressured to do something. Including something that seems fun, like eating out with your co-workers.
The important part is that you feel like you can choose what to do at lunch time, says John Trougakos, an associate professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and co-author of the study.
“When we have control over what we do, it’s less taxing to us,” Trougakos said. “We didn't find socializing to be the best thing to do during your break unless people were wanting to do that.”
In addition, he said, “It wasn't bad to be able to work if that’s what they really wanted to do.”
That being said, staying at your desk all day isn't great for you either. Trougakos said you are still likely to be more productive if you can spend at least a bit of time thinking about something other than work.
“We have the misconception that when people take a break they are slacking,” Trougakos said. In fact, he said, breaks can make people healthier, more productive and less likely to burn out.