25 Jul

why you should always pack a lunch box even when you work from home

This post is part of a series on making working from home work for you

Okay, so maybe you don’t need to pack a lunch box, but you *do* need to make your lunch ahead of time.

Today a fellow work-from-home-r messaged me on Twitter just as I was pondering the Great Lunch Decision and said:

randomly – i really hate working out what to have for lunch. such a time waster

Yes. Yes it is.

You could be forgiven for thinking you would eat healthily or have delicious freshly cooked hot meals for lunch if you worked from home. It’s a delusion that you should actually be able to turn into a reality.

But here’s how it *actually* is: Lunch time rolls around and you can’t be bothered deciding what to eat, let alone making it. Or (more often in my case), lunch time rolls on by and suddenly it’s 3pm and you’re ravenous and your blood sugar is so low you have to stuff 12 freddos in your mouth while you wait for your toast to cook or you’re going to faint in a big puddle on your recently cleaned kitchen floor.

Even if I do manage to stop at about lunch time and realise I should go and get something to eat, I generally haven’t thought in advance about what I could make so I invariably stare into the empty, cavernous, echoey fridge shouting “Hello? Hello in there? Come out and get me, lunch!”, and the empty, cavernous, echoey fridge just echoes my shout and nothing ever presents itself. So I either end up abandoning all thoughts of eating and just make more coffee, or I grab five little packets of snack food and head back to my desk where I proceed to eat a whole bunch of stuff that has absolutely no nutritional value.

If I’m going into the office, I either pack up my pinker than pink Tupperware fuel pack¬†or I just wake up to myself and realise I’m going to get 12* coffees at the bookshop and Guzman Y Gomez for lunch. But my point is, if I’m going into the office, I almost always know what I’m going to eat. And if I don’t, it doesn’t actually matter, because there’s a food court right next to our building. In fact I can scope out how busy it is without getting in the lift, because I can peer directly into it from our floor.

But there is no food court at home. In my home, there is often no bread and rarely anything more exciting than cheese slices to have on the bread (on the off chance I have bread).

So the moral of the story is this: If you work from home and you like the idea of eating lunch, you should prepare your lunch just as you would if you were going into the office. Make your sandwich the night before, put aside some leftovers in a microwave safe container, or buy ready made meals you can throw in the oven. Don’t buy huge tubs of yoghurt unless you’re going to decant them in advance into smaller containers, because it’s a pain to have to do it during the day. Buy things in portion controlled packets or you’ll end up taking the whole packet to your desk and eating it all, because it’s easier than opening the packet, putting some in a bowl, then finding a Tupperware container for the rest.

If your office was (for example) in an industrial area and there were no food shops around and you couldn’t drive anywhere to get food, you’d never go into work without a well stocked lunch box. There aren’t any food places around the corner in suburbia, either, so the same applies to working from home. Pack your fuel pack in advance and you may actually make it to the end of the day without eating every bit of convenience food in sight or passing out from starvation and face planting on your keyboard.

* Evidently 12 is my number today. Often it’s 67. But today it’s 12.