Eating really smelly food in an open workspace can be a really big problem – if your goal is to get ahead any time soon, that is.
As a piece in Fast Company put it not long ago, “When was the last time you heard, ‘Wow, that fish smells really great!’ Yeah, we thought so.”
If you can’t live without your favorite cheesesteak and fried onions, or kimchi, or curried coconut chicken, or burnt microwaved popcorn – you’re better off eating that food at home or after work if you want to do right by your boss and your colleagues.
Here’s why this matters. A recent survey by Accountemps, the world’s largest temporary staffing company, found that more than 8 in 10 respondents, or 85 percent, believe that being courteous to people at work has a measurable impact on one’s career prospects. And courteousness includes your choice of eat-in foods.
Sure, skills, knowledge, productivity and dedication are all critical to career success today, but workers overlook their behavior toward others at their peril – and 70 percent of workers said their colleagues exhibit more bad manners the higher up they climb.
Interestingly, the biggest rule breaker in terms of work etiquette isn’t bringing in bad food smells. Take a look at the top five breaches of workplace etiquette in today’s open workspaces as rated by the respondents of this new survey – and decide if you’ve made the list:
- Using a speakerphone or talking loudly on a phone: 36 percent
- Loitering or talking near a colleague’s desk: 23 percent
- Eating foods that have strong odors: 15 percent
- Keeping a messy or cluttered workspace: 14 percent
- Leaving the phone ringer on loud: 8 percent
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