Desk Eating: The good, the bad, and the ugly
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January 6, 2020

Desk Eating: a social evil or necessity?

Patrick Algrim, a hiring specialist from the Silicon Valley, says desk eating per se is neither bad nor good. It does not determine your work ethics or your social skills at work.

Others expressed concerns about the general etiquette of eating at the desk. A meal at the desk may attract some colleagues to stop over for a chat, the noise and even the odors wafting from the food are bound to distract your neighbors and co-workers.

“If the employee continues to work during their lunch, ie., taking calls, typing, fielding queries, then the meal break might fairly be considered as not fully or wholly taken,” opines Jake Penny, Head of HR, English Blinds.

Carol L. Kardas, founding partner, KardasLarson, agrees with this view. She says, “If you are classified as non-exempt by FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) standards, then anytime that you work or are permitted to work during your lunch hour, you must then factor that lunchtime into any potential overtime pay. If a boss asks for something and the non-exempt individual does it during this break, then it is compensatory time. If you are exempt from overtime, then it really doesn’t matter if someone is eating lunch and working – except that it could smell up the office or be messy.”

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KardasLarson is a human resources and business consulting firm that maximizes employee performance so people and organizations prosper.



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