Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, “sweatworking” gatherings and healthy power lunches were popular ways to connect with colleagues, build new professional relationships, and make and implement important plans. Then in early 2020, work life changed dramatically for millions of people. Amidst the challenges of adjusting to work-from-home life, people also took the opportunity to develop new ways of incorporating healthy habits and self-care into their workdays and finding opportunities to connect with others professionally.
The New “Power Lunch”
Once a term used to describe a daytime meal where business deals are made, the “power lunch” of the pandemic world is a lot more about taking a break from your screen to energize and fuel your body before you have to dive back in and fight through Zoom fatigue for the rest of the day. Here are some key pieces of the work-from-home power lunch. Whether you incorporate just one or all three, they can help you optimize your lunch break so you can feel and work your best.
Move Your Body
Lunchtime workouts have become increasingly popular. According to ClassPass’ 2021 trends report,12 p.m. has become the most popular time for workouts during the workweek. Not having to get to and from a gym or studio saves tons of time and opens up lots of options for getting in a great workout in 30-45 minutes. The top digital workouts of 2020 on the platform were:
While a midday at-home workout could be the “me” time many need, those really missing the chance to get their sweat on with colleagues can sign up for a live virtual class together and then reconvene on Zoom or FaceTime to chat over lunch. Sure, it’s not quite the same as in-person, but still an opportunity to connect.
With more people using their lunch break to exercise, squeezing in both a sweat session and a meal to refuel before returning to work can be a challenge. Skip the protein bar or meal replacement shake and enjoy an actual meal.
MORE FOR YOU
Simplify and save time with prepared or frozen meals. Weekend meal-prep or even packing the next day’s lunch works just as well when you work from home as when you’re in an office, and there are tons of convenient healthy options available now that all you have to do is heat and eat. There are also lots of healthy meal delivery services available like Sakara, Daily Harvest, and Freshly (who recently introduced a lower-carb, more protein-forward FreshlyFit line and has plans to roll out more plant-based options), just to name a few. There are also some frozen and shelf-stable options like Amy’s Organic, whose vegetarian and vegan entrees and soups can be found in many supermarkets and online grocery retailers. A vegan burrito you can microwave in less than three minutes or a can of lentil soup, especially when paired with a simple side salad, can totally be a legit lunch.
For many, one of the attractive parts about conducting business behind a screen is that nobody can smell you, but you still know if you’re a little stinky after that lunchtime sweat session, which could potentially impact your virtual work interactions. If you don’t have time to shower after that lunchtime workout, stock your space with dry shampoo, face and body wipes, your favorite natural deodorant, and easy-to-use cosmetics like tinted moisturizer and blotting papers to help you feel camera-ready ASAP.