Should administrative support personnel eat at their desks? Some organizations allow it. Some don’t. Professionally, though, whether it’s allowed or not, is eating at our desks something we should do?
Like many professional dilemmas, the answer is a resounding maybe. For some administrative support jobs, occasionally eating at your desk shouldn’t present a problem. For others, it should be absolutely forbidden.
Let’s face it, if your job is to be the face of your company at the front desk as a receptionist or in another public position, you should not be eating at your desk. Just think of the impression it gives to clients. They walk into your office and the first thing they see is you chowing down on a piece of birthday cake. It is not a pretty picture. Note: this applies to chewing gum as well. No gum!
If you have a need to eat frequently, use your break times for a snack, but keep the food away from public venues.
I know some of us lunch at our desk because of the lack of appropriate lunch room facilities. If you eat lunch at your desk, though, make it obvious by having a sign you put on your desk that says “At Lunch”. It will let you eat your lunch in peace and make it clear you are not actually working. The Be Neat rule still applies, though.
If your office isn’t in a public venue, and your office doesn’t have rules against it, then eating at your desk is usually not a problem. Use discretion, though. These are the rules I generally apply to eating at my desk.
What rules reign in your office? Are you allowed to eat at your desk? What about your personal rules? Leave a comment and add your voice to the question. Can you and should you eat at your desk?