Desk Dining, Part 3: Manner School

Eating at your desk is sometimes unavoidable, but your eating habits at home may not transfer well in an office environment. A quick bite to eat while at your desk is becoming increasingly common. According to the 2011 Desktop Dining Survey by the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods’ Home Food Safety program, 83% of employees are grubbing at their desk for meals and snacks. Avoid offending your co-workers and get a gold star in desk dining manner school with these tips.

Tip #3: Desktop Dining Etiquette

You may not need to keep your utensils in a certain order while eating at work, but there are still rules to follow when dining at your desk to avoid looks, whispers and complaints from your co-workers.

Avoid strong aromas like garlic and onion.
  • Be careful of smells. You wouldn’t want to nauseate your cube mate with a tuna sandwich or the entire office with burnt popcorn. Pick your meals with others in mind and stick to the non-smelly cuisine whenever possible.
  • That chip bag is a disturbance. Crinkling, crumpling and crunching are a sure way to make your colleagues lose focus. Try to open these products away from your desk and chew food mindfully. Keep this in mind when you are on the phone too. You wouldn’t want to crunch into the ear of your client!
  • Gulping, slurping and finger licking are out. With your deadline looming and your belly grumbling you may unconsciously gulp down your breakfast smoothie and slurp your soda, but beware. You may be in the zone, but you’re eating habits can cause a disturbance amongst your colleagues.
  • Keep it clean. A desk that is cluttered with days of desk dining leftovers will cause awkward glances and leave a bad impression on any potential clients that maywalk by. Remember your desk dining sanitation rules.
Now that you have your desk dining rules memorized, focus on portion control with everyday desk items.
Do you have other suggestions on mindful desk dining?

Photo 1 courtesy of The Marmot via flickr (CC BY 3.0) 

Photo 2 courtesy of lockstockb via 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here