Smelly Food At Work

Reheating food at work etiquette

Bad smells trigger bad moods, according to Pamela Dalton, an olfactory researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philly.  She goes on to say, “Smelling others’ lunches in the office can make people feel as it they have lost “control over their personal environment.”   “…can distract us from what we are doing and change our mood.”

What are the most smelly foods?  Her study includes: reheated fish dishes, fast-food french fries (really?), microwave popcorn (either you love it or vomit), burritos, liverwurst, onion, dishes with aged cheese; the list is a bit surprising.  What about garlic, curry, green vegies, and hard-boiled eggs? An Australian company completely banned curry from the workplace break room.

If you aren’t hungry, the scent of any food or snack can set you off.  So, what is the answer?  Should businesses impose rules against certain aromatic foods? 

“Be sweet, please don’t reheat the following food: …   Would anyone adhere to the rules?  

You don’t want to develop a reputation of being a selfish and inconsiderate coworker; not great for developing workplace relationships. 

Equally distracting is someone opening a bag of their favorite chips, crunching and munching, finished by the sound of fingers being licked. Gross!

My take: If you must enjoy a loud or pungent culinary delight, take it outside.  With so many options, enjoy the smelly foods at home. 

Helping businesses and individuals find success through better communication and social skills. 

social skills, communication, soft skillsRosalinda Oropeza Randall, Social Skills and Civility Presenter, Media Source, and author of “Don’t Burp in the Boardroom.”

She also offers customized presentations geared for specific audiences including: Startups, IT Professionals, Service Professionals, Sales Professionals, New Hires, Millennials, and an entire series for College and University students and athletes moving from the classroom into the workplace.. For more information, please contact me. 650.871.6200.

© 2017, Rosalinda Randall.