The myth of the boring accountant may not be so far off the mark. Turns out you may handle spreadsheets better if you eat lunch alone
Lunch picture from Shutterstock
Researchers at Humboldt University in Germany found that if you gave people the exact same lunch, it made a big difference to their afternoon productivity depending on where they ate it, how long they had to eat it and who they ate it with.
Got an afternoon of data-crunching ahead at work? Then it’s time to eat a rushed lunch at your desk. .
If you like to be social, and eat out with friends, then you may not be as productive afterwards. The researchers found that eating with friends at a restaurant makes you calmer, but sleepier, which results in greater distractibility and more errors made in the afternoon. Forget working on that detailed report.
Fortunately, it’s not all bad news for social lunchers. It turns out that you may be better handling social or creative tasks in the afternoon after you hang out with friends. Scheduling group meetings and brainstorming sessions might be just the thing.
Before you change how you manage your lunchbreaks, it’s worth keeping in mind that the researchers have yet to figure out the details: “It is impossible to specify at this point, which of the variables above are crucial for the effects observed in our study,” they noted.