New office ‘snackiquette’ guide advises against eating smelly foods in workplace

A new office “snackiquette” guide has been launched – which suggests smoked mackerel, boiled eggs, and noisy crisps should never be eaten near colleagues. Etiquette expert, and star of “Help I Sexted my Boss” podcast, William Hanson, advises against tucking into anything with a strong odour, such as eggs or fish, so we don’t annoy those sitting near us. And slurping on a straw is also bad for office harmony.

Meanwhile, he says pears, soft sweets, and yoghurts are the perfect work snacks – although oranges and apples are also seen as “no-no’s”.

The guide’s launch follows research which found fresh fruit, yoghurts, chocolate, and biscuits were seen as acceptable office snacks, according to employees.

A study of 2,000 office workers, commissioned by Yoplait, revealed 65 percent find the smell of foods most annoying in the office, while 43 percent are irritated by the sound of chewing.

Nutritionist Dr Frankie Phillips said: “More than half (53 percent) of those in the survey admitted that their snack choices aren’t as healthy as they’d like to be, while 58 percent of workers also opt for snacks to boost their energy levels.

“Switching to yoghurt would be a healthier choice, as well as scoring a 10 on office etiquette.”

It also emerged smoked mackerel and boiled eggs were the most offensive foods to snack on, followed by egg sandwiches, curry, and kebabs.

The most annoying or rude things a colleague can do is steal someone’s food (63 percent), bring in smelly food (61 percent), and not wash up after themselves (59 percent).

It also emerged 24 percent are irritated when someone snacks next to them, and doesn’t offer them anything.

And almost a quarter (24 percent) have even experienced others eating their snacks without their permission.

However, 81 percent snack in the office – and a bold 15 percent frequently choose to eat snacks with high potential to offend their colleagues.

Meanwhile, almost half (42 percent) have been told by a colleague they’re being annoying with their snack choice.

But over seven in ten (72 percent) of those polled, via OnePoll, said a snack is something they tend to look forward to, to brighten up their working day.

The “snackiquette” guide, created by Yoplait Skyr in collaboration with William Hanson, provides detailed insight into some dos and don’ts to avoid irritating others – including eating nothing bigger than your thumbnail when in a meeting.

Eight in ten reckon eating on a work call is completely unacceptable – which aligns with William’s thoughts, as he recommends eating nothing bigger than a breath mint when connecting digitally or in the office.

William Hanson added: “There are plenty of dos and don’ts when it comes to workplace snacking that many will not have thought of, so it is well worth familiarising with the “snackiquette” guide before chomping in the office or at home again anytime soon.

“For all you know, you could be irritating some of your closest colleagues or even your partner, but they just don’t have the heart to tell you.”

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