Not only will you get the stink eye from neighbouring colleagues, but staff on the whole floor will likely be nasally assaulted as the pungent aroma wafts through the office.
Also, please don’t let your food become a science experiment in the fridge from which noxious odours then begin to emanate.
Those are just the basics. Ambius, an interior landscaping and scenting firm, delved deeper this month into the universal problem of smelly food at work.
Desktop lunches are at the core of the issue, since 61 per cent of the 1,000 office workers surveyed admit they dine “al desko” three or more times a week.
This leads to a few unfortunate consequences. The mindless distracted desktop dining can contribute to weight gain (because portion control is tougher to manage), as well as germs (since crumbs drop on your keyboard and become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria) — not very appetizing.
READ MORE: These are the dirtiest places in your office
But the biggest impact of eating at your desk might be on your co-workers, 45 per cent of whom confessed they’d suffered through bad food smells in silence.
A significant chunk (35 per cent) also admitted they hate the sound of their co-workers eating at their desk, which may be a symptom of misophonia (a “rage-inducing” sound sensitivity disorder that is more common than OCD).
When it came to the stinkiest lunches, though, these were ranked as the 10 worst offenders:
- Oily fish (like mackerel or sardines) – 47%
- Smelly cheese – 45%
- Boiled eggs – 42%
- Egg sandwich – 39%
- Garlicky foods – 38%
- Curry – 37%
- Raw onions – 36%
- Crustaceans (like prawns) – 32%
- Fast food – 28%
- Tuna sandwich — 27%
Surprisingly, kimchi did not make the list but some have likened its smell to rotting garbage.
A U.K. survey in 2015 found close to 70 per cent of people felt their productivity is affected by how their workplace smells.
On the opposite side of the spectrum are the scents — like freshly-brewed coffee — that appeal to most people’s sense of smell.
The top 10 best-smelling foods were found to be:
- Buttered toast – 47%
- French pastries – 45%
- Bacon sandwich – 42%
- Chicken soup – 37%
- Tomato soup – 37%
- Sausage roll – 37%
- Banana – 36%
- Pizza – 35%
- Fish and chips – 31%
- Spaghetti bolognaise – 30%