Everybody has experienced it before: that feeling of walking into a space that smells neutral, only for your environment to slowly turn on you -- to turn into a bastion of pungent and overwhelming smells, that is.
According to a new study done by the interior landscaping firm Ambius, smelly food in the workplace is so distracting that it actually hinders people's ability to work productively. While we're not quite sure why an interior landscaping firm decided to conduct this study, we're pretty convinced: both good smells and bad smells have the ability to take our mind off even the most engaging of tasks.
The study suggests that about two-thirds of people eat food at their workplace desks most days of the week, and out of 1,000 office workers polled, two out of five cited being too busy with work to take a lunch break.
Unfortunately, over half of those colleagues also think that their coworkers who choose to dine on more aromatic foods -- egg sandwiches, fishy products, etc. -- were actually exhibiting antisocial behavior!
"Some people may not realize how much of an effect their lunch choices could have on co-workers who sit near them," Gareth Cowmeadow, a worker at Ambius, told the Daily Mail.
Among the least offensive foods in the workplace were buttered toast, fresh pastries (which makes sense; who doesn't absolutely love the smell of fresh-baked bread in the morning … or the afternoon … or as a midnight snack?) and bacon sandwiches. Bacon mania is real, folks.
Additionally, eating food at your desk means you run the risk of more health issues than those people who decide to get up and exercise a little to get their lunch.
"Al desko diners run the risk of increasing their food intake later in the day which can lead to weight gain and obesity," Jane Ogden, a professor and researcher at Surrey University, told the Daily Mail.
"Making time for lunch and sitting down at the table is actually good for our waistline. When you’re at a table, away from your desk and distractions, you actually think, 'this is food, this is a meal,' and you remember it and you count it.
"Importantly, this also means you’re much less likely to snack later on. Your brain calls it food, calls it a meal, and, therefore, you feel fuller."