Eating lunch at your desk

posted 6 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
6442 posts
Bee Keeper

veganeh :  I work in an actual office so I have no rules on what I eat in my office.  However I think if I worked in a cubicle I would be more aware of what I was eating and spreading around to others

Post # 3
13594 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I always eat at my desk, as do all my coworkers.  There are no rules about what you can eat, but people seem to be pretty aware of the smells of food.  In the 3.5 years I’ve been here, no one has ever heated up a stinky fish or anything.

Post # 4
1260 posts
Bumble bee

I ate at my desk at my last job all the time. No rules. In the new job I’m trying to eat away from my desk and have so far been doing that. There’s a nice big kitchen and there’s a nice park just outside the building that people often make use of, and I’ve been eating there. Work hasn’t been demanding so far, so I wouldn’t eat at my desk unless I have work to do and there hasn’t been a need to.

Post # 5
53 posts
Worker bee

veganeh :  I WFH almost all the time, but I still have an office in a building.  I don’t eat meals at my desk but will eat snacks like bananas, pretzels, and such.  

Our office does not have a policy about types of food allowed but does have a policy that you CAN’T eat at your desk.

I had never heard of this before in workplaces, but supposedly it’s to reduce attracting ants, bugs, or mice.  Each floor has a cafeteria-style kitchen in addition to a larger kitchen on the main level which are cleaned daily, whereas the working areas are only cleaned weekly. (Btw- when I break the rules, I make sure any food-related trash is tossed in the kitchen trashcans lol)

The policy apparently works, because our building is immaculate.

Post # 6
1256 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I worked for my current firm (in the same role as I do now) while living in Europe and it was interesting because nearly everybody – including management – would step away from their desks for lunch and eat in the communal kitchen/lounge areas. Even if people got take-out they would transfer to real plates and use real cutlery. Meals were almost always hot prepared meals (take out and packed meals).

Now that I’m back in the US, I’d say 99% of people eat at their desks. People almost always eay salads or deli-meat sandwiches for lunch.  No stinky smells but also very basic meals.

It was interesting watching the cultural differences for lunch between the two offices! 

Post # 7
7901 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

1. I eat lunch at my desk sometimes if I’m really busy, but mostly I eat in our kitchen. We’re a pretty social office so it’s not to get that break from sitting alone in my office all day. 

2. I know a few partners that have given their secretaries crap about eating smelling things at their desk but their response is always “well then stop piling on so much work I can’t run to the kitchen for 20 minutes” lol. I personally prefer to eat things that have a stronger odor in the kitchen just so I’m not smelling it for the rest of the day, and I obviously don’t reheat fish or something extra stinky in the office. 


Post # 8
835 posts
Busy bee

TravelingBride31 :  They certainly have the right attitude about enjoying a meal and not being so rushed! I strive to live like that when I can. In North America we call it mindfulness, in Europe it’s simply living! Which countries did you work in? And what specific foods/differences did you notice? 

Post # 9
2794 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Mostly I ate at my desk and my work had no rules as such, just a general respect your neighbours. 

I wouldnt eat lunch at my desk during Ramadan as I have a lot of Muslim colleagues. They’ve never asked me not to eat round them, I just think it’s respectful to not.veganeh :  

Post # 10
1560 posts
Bumble bee

I eat in the lunch room to take a proper break, read the newspaper and chat to people. I think it should be encouraged in the workplace as everyone should take a break from their desks. 

Post # 11
860 posts
Busy bee

veganeh :  At previous jobs, I ate at my desk (no time for lunch). At my current job, we have a no food at our desk policy and I am grateful for it. We keep the doors to our break rooms closed, too. It cuts back on food smell. We’re required to take a lunch, so there’s no issue with not having enough time to eat. 

Post # 12
8549 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

veganeh :  I tend to always eat lunch at my desk. I have tried eating in the kitchen or in the diner booths but seem to constantly get interrupted with questions about my lunch, what I am reading etc. I tend to just eat at my desk and muck about online or listen to a podcast or something if I am not working and eating.


We have no rules, we can eat and drink at our desks and make whatever we want in the kitchen.

Post # 13
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2019 - City, State

I eat at my desk, but I don’t do any work while I take my lunch break. Our kitchen is tiny and people are always coming in and out and I’d rather just eat in privacy in my own space. We don’t have any rules about where we can and cannot eat. I do make an effort to not bring in strong smelling food though.

Post # 14
14947 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

1. Sometimes.  I usually eat with a friend of mine at work.  If he’s not available for lunch, I just eat at my desk.

2.  No official rules, other than common sense courtesy.

Post # 15
3446 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

We’re allowed to eat at our desks but I generally don’t because it tends to end up not being a break. Someone will inevitably need help or want to share an idea or story or something. I leave my desk so it’s actually a break, and not just consuming food. 

We have no food policies or restrictions and we actually keep the office stocked with chips and granola bars. No smelly food issues but I think it’s because no one wants to be “that” coworker. 

Leave a comment

Find Amazing Vendors