With lockdown restrictions easing, many are now taking cautious steps back into the workplace. But after over a year away, getting back into the swing of things may take a little adjustment.

Early wake-up calls. Rush-hour traffic. Packed lunches. Sharing an office space. Team bonding — how do we actually interact with real-life humans again?!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned through lockdown, it’s that good food makes everything better. So, here are just two ways you can make the transition from the home to the office that bit easier…

Step up the lunch game

We don’t know about you, but nothing keeps us motivated through the workday like a good lunch and plenty of yummy snacks. But lunch is a somewhat easier affair from the comfort of home, where you have a whole fridge at your disposal and the luxury of an oven and a hob.

This is where meal planning comes in.

Just because you’re heading back to the office doesn’t mean you have to settle for a boring, dry sandwich. Not that we’re saying sandwiches themselves are boring (we love nothing more than a triple-decker club on soft, toasted bread slathered in mayo!).

By prepping your meals, you know you’ll always have a delicious lunch to look forward to — from pasta salads and build-your-own buddha bowls to wraps and chilli (perfect for throwing on top of a jacket potato).

Meal prepping can make your week so much easier. Knowing what you’re eating in advance makes it quick and simple to put a shopping list together. Plus, meal planning typically also means prepping fewer dishes and fewer trips to the shop, so you’ll save both time and money.

If you have a selection of pre-prepared snacks ready to go for the week, you’ll also be far less tempted to nip out to the shops and gorge on chocolate bars, crisps and sweets. Some of our favourite lunchtime snacks include apple and cinnamon breakfast muffins, veg sticks and hummus, picnic quiches and homemade peanut butter protein balls.

And if meal prepping still seems like too much of a faff, here’s our other secret to lush lunches: leftovers. Pasta dishes, pies, soups and casseroles are all easy to make in big batches for dinner and portion out into microwavable containers — without any extra effort. Plus, we all know everything tastes better the next day!

Treat the team

Not only can good food fuel us and improve productivity throughout the working day, but it’s also the glue that bonds us all together.

After over a year of remote working, many colleagues will have lost touch, particularly if they don’t work together directly in a team. Even those that do speak every day may have found work to be the main topic of conversation during the past year (it’s not like there’s been a whole lot else for us all to do).

As a result, teams will be eager to connect again. And food is one of the most powerful connective tools we have!

So, what could be better than learning to cook a variety of dishes — together — under the guidance of a talented chef? Well, perhaps just one thing: being able to come together and enjoy the feast afterwards. That and not having to wash up…

At The Abinger Cookery School, we’ll work with you to create the perfect menu for your team-building cooking class and provide all of the recipes, ingredients and equipment you’ll need — we’ll even do all the washing up!

Want to find out more about our corporate bookings? Browse our courses to see what takes your fancy, and get in touch on 01306 730470 or email [email protected] to discuss your requirements!