Lunchtime Taboos To Avoid In The Workplace

Lunchtime Taboos

Have you ever been sat in the office during lunchtime and seen someone do something that you would consider taboo?  You can be safe in the knowledge that almost half of UK professionals (46.2%) would agree that there are simply some taboos that should be avoided while at work.

This is the result of new research from CV-Library that saw 1,000 workers surveyed to establish attitudes towards eating habits. Not only did almost half of respondents agree that there were taboos to be avoided, but 58.8% went even further and agreed that repeat offenders should have their behaviours confronted.

What Are The Biggest Taboos?

While we all may have something that irritates us regarding lunchtime in the workplace, it turns out that there are six taboos that were commonly listed by the survey respondents. Drinking alcohol on your lunch break was seen to be the most important with 39% of those responding giving this as their biggest taboo.

There may be many people who view this with surprise as many workplaces may ban alcohol anyway, but this survey comes soon after reports that workers at Lloyd’s of London have been banned from daytime drinking. This ban comes after it was revealed that almost half of the grievances and disciplinary procedures at Lloyd’s of London in the past year have apparently been found to be related to the misuse of alcohol.

The next five lunchtime taboos are as follows:

  • Eating smelly food (36.8%)
  • Making a mess of the shared kitchen (32.2%)
  • Eating too unhealthily (28.2%)
  • Not taking a lunch break at all (25.4%)
  • Taking too long on your lunch break (22%)

Lunch Is An Important Time

It’s clear to see that while what you do on your lunch break can be a nuisance to fellow colleagues, whether or not you actually take a break is seen as a taboo as well. Just over a quarter of respondents (25.4%) said that not taking a lunch break is a taboo, and a survey by BUPA in 2015 found that less than one in three workers (29%) were taking a lunch break every day.

It is important to note as well that workers are legally entitled to at least one uninterrupted 20 minute rest break if they work more than 6 hours a day. This means that you should be taking your breaks even if you don’t want to or feel you are too busy. Taking a break can help to improve your productivity by allowing you to take a step away from your work.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “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. 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.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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