At many offices, the pace of the average workday makes it difficult for employees to even think of getting up from their work for a moment, nevermind eating lunch.

When your business is choosing which used office workstations to purchase, you might consider whether or not the occupants will be in a work environment where eating at the computer is commonplace.

Though this might be convenient, there are some reasons why workers may want to re-think where they munch—and employers might want to restructure the office layout accordingly:

  • Cleanliness: One of the most obvious drawbacks to eating in front of the computer is that crumbs and splotches of sauce might worm their way into the keyboard and mouse. If you do decide to let this behavior slide, look for desks that make this mess less probable.
    No stress release: Eating away from the desk can help give employees that all-important break that might make their work all the more productive. Writing for Business Insider and citing multiple studies to this effect, Lauren Friedman and Kevin Loria recently wrote that “a break — especially if you can finagle some time outside, ideally in a park — can do wonders for your stress level, thinking, and creativity.”
  • Sluggishness: Even a walk to the break room allows employees to stretch their limbs, move around, and jar their thinking. Everyone has seen that glazed-over look in the face of someone who’s been in front of a computer for too long.
    There’s nothing necessarily wrong with eating at the desk, but companies that encourage this should select office furnishings that can help maintain a clean work environment when employees eat at their stations. Your next office design will be best optimized if you keep in mind the requirements of your team for staying focused and feeling supported.