Office Snacking Etiquette

During a long day at the office, you need some tasty treats to help you keep up that energy. Follow Modern Manners Guy’s 3 tips proper office snack etiquette.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #226

Office Snacking Etiquette

With the recent threat of Twinkies going the way of the dinosaurs, snacks have taken center stage in the media as something people can't live without. "Give me fatty sugar treats or give me death!"

Let's face it, regardless of where you work, everyone has a rough time getting through a full day without completely feeling wiped out. So what do we do? We snack. And now with the holiday season upon us, it seems like every day there is a large pile of tasty treats that flow into the office, begging to be eaten. This, my friends, is what the holidays are really about!

See also: Is Snacking Good or Bad?


But sometimes office snack behavior can get out of control. So before you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, check out my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for workplace snack etiquette:

Tip #1: The Communal Snack Area

Many offices have a designated snack area. Sometimes it's in the kitchen, or in an empty cube no one is using, or even just a small bowl on the boss' desk. Snack areas are the office version of tailgating. People bring in treats and next thing you know, it's an all-out party. "What about that 10 am conference call? Nah, who cares, JoAnn brought in homemade cupcakes!"

Remember, we are adults, not toddlers at a birthday party. And the office is a place of business, not the Golden Corral on "All You Can Eat Tuesdays."

But with snacks come wrappers or plates or napkins or utensils, which all equal a lot of trash. Have you ever seen an office snack area after a big event? It looks like Armageddon, with smeared remnants of JoAnn's cupcakes, and Steve's apple turnover left in shambles as if savages just stormed through.

Apparently people forget their manners when it comes time to chow down. Some set up camp at that rogue desk housing the tasty snacks, leaving wrappers on the floor for the cleaning people to find. After all, that's their job, right? No, it's not. It's a cleaning person's job to clean up, but not scrape frosting off the walls because you couldn’t be bothered. Plus, it always shocks me when trash is left on tables or floors when there is a trashcan right in the area. Really, people?

When it comes to office snack etiquette, we must remember that we are adults, not toddlers at a birthday party. And the office is a place of business, not the Golden Corral on "All You Can Eat Tuesdays." Yes, your fellow coworkers were nice enough to bring in tasty treats, but you must still maintain a certain level of professionalism.

After all, you wouldn't show up to a meeting with a giant Doritos stain across your shirt, right? So why would you sabotage your space by leaving a mess? When you are snacking, be respectful of the office property and those around you. Use the trashcan. Wipe up something you spilled (or knocked over) and please, by all means, do not leave food out to rot and grow mold. Disgusting!

See also: How NOT to Show up Late at a Meeting