Judging by how often I see my coworkers do this (and yes, I do it too), and the plethora of images I found on Flickr when entering the tags “lunch” and “desk,” eating at one’s desk is a common occurrence in offices everywhere.
The days of hanging out in the break room or lounge are over. We feel more connected on our computers than we do face to face (admit it, you talk to your coworkers IM more than you do in person), so why step away from your computer for a bite to eat with friends?
A lot of reasons. First of all, you know by now that taking frequent breaks to stretch and get away from your computer is one easy way to prevent repetitive strain injuries. Secondly, taking time to have lunch with coworkers and talking about “non-work stuff” can help forge connections that just might help you get a promotion (everyone likes outgoing, sociable people…not loners that eat at their desk). Thirdly…your desk is disgusting:
A study by microbiologist Charles Gerba found the typical office area can contain 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. Telephones came in as the number one home for office germs, followed by desks, water fountain handles, microwave door handles and computer keyboards. Surprisingly, toilet seats consistently had the lowest bacteria levels of the 12 surfaces tested in the study.