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Office Lunch Etiquette

Office Etiquette: Bringing Your Lunch to Work


Taking your lunch to work is a healthy, cost-friendly habit, but if you decide to eat in the office, you should keep your co-workers in mind and practice proper manners. Here are four things to consider if you like to dine at your desk.

  • Not everyone shares the same taste. Some of the most delicious foods can have less-than-appealing smells, so be conscientious and save the strong-scented dishes for dinnertime. You'll avoid upsetting your co-workers and keep your breath conversation-ready.
  • Use your usual manners. It's important that your midday meals don't distract your office-mates, so stick to the table etiquette you learned as a child. Don't slurp, don't chew with your mouth open, and keep things neat to avoid spilling on your work or keyboard.
  • Bring your own silverware. Even if your office keeps a stash of plastic silverware in the kitchen, bring your own to avoid unnecessary waste. Stay eco-friendly by packing washable silverware with your lunch.
  • Eat and move on. Try not to linger with your lunch. You don't need to rush your meal, but it shouldn't be an all-afternoon affair, either. Allow yourself a reasonable amount of time to eat, then clear your desk and get back to work.
  • Respect the refrigerator real estate. You're one of several employees, so there's no need to take up an entire shelf with your favorite foods. Remember to clean up after yourself and regularly remove your leftovers from the office fridge. Follow the standard waste processes, too, and recycle when appropriate.
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