The findings come from CV-Library, which surveyed British workers to find out what’s acceptable during lunchtime when it comes to eating habits and behaviour of peers.
First and foremost, 46.2 per cent feel that there are eating certain things that should be avoided, which may cause workers to think twice about their meal plans. Meanwhile, 58.8 per cent think offenders should be told if these eating habits become a regular occurrence.
The number one taboo is drinking on break, according to 39 per cent, closely followed by eating smelly food with 36.8 per cent. This comes after a study found most Brits drink on work nights.
The top six eating habits and behaviours considered taboo are:
(1) Drinking alcohol on your lunch break – 39 per cent
(2) Eating smelly food – 36.8 per cent
(3) Making a mess of the shared kitchen – 32.2 per cent
(4) Eating too unhealthily – 28.2 per cent
(5) Not taking a lunch break at all – 25.4 per cent
(6) Taking too long on your lunch break – 22 per cent
“Although how you choose to spend your lunchtime, and what you eat is down to personal choice, it’s clear that there are certain faux pas that professionals find hard to ignore,” said Lee Biggins, founder and MD of CV-Library.
The study of taboo eating habits and trends didn’t end there though – the company also highlighted the ten worst lunchtime errors revealed by survey respondents.
(1) Katie, Guildford
“I once had fish for lunch and I re-heated it in the microwave, it made the whole office smell and everyone knew it was me – I was so embarrassed!”
(2) Thomas, Glasgow
“I was working in a factory a few years ago and one of my colleagues came back from the pub, a little worse for drink, and severely injured himself on a rotating band-saw.”
(3) James, Manchester
“We had a contractor in last year and he decided to turn the toaster on its side in an attempt to cook cheese on toast, and it caught on fire…”
(4) Megan, Winchester
“We had a colleague who always stole other people’s food, we all knew who it was but no one wanted to confront them.”
(5) Chris, Wolverhampton
“A lady in my office eats and talks at the same time, and she barely takes a breath in between. It can be messy and is definitely not a pretty sight!”
(6) Tammy, Leeds
“I opened a yoghurt at my desk and it spilled all over my keyboard and in between the keys – my manager was furious.”
(7) Lauren, Kidderminster
“It was my first day at my new job and during the lunch break I was forced into a chilli eating competition as part of my induction.”
(8) Simon, Milton Keynes
“I work with a man in his 50s who still has his mum make his sandwiches for him every day. And every day he unwraps the tinfoil and says ‘oh no she’s made me ham butties again!’”
(9) Isaac, Hull
“My colleagues go out drinking at lunchtime and then have to sleep it off in the print room.”
(10) Jayne, Newport
“During lunch some of my colleagues would eat so much that they would go and take a nap in the toilet stall afterwards.”
Biggins continued: “We spend a great deal of our time at work, and if your lunchtime habits are having a negative impact on your colleagues it could be time to rethink your choices.
“Not only this, but drinking alcohol, taking a long lunch break or even not taking one at all can also have damaging effect on your productivity. So when making your lunchtime decisions be conscious of your colleagues, and also remember that despite being entitled to a break, you still have an afternoon of work ahead of you to get through!”
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