The Etiquette Rule To Follow When Sharing Food At The Office

Being the office hero doesn't require an act of heroism or sacrifice — it's just a matter of bringing some food (homemade or store-bought) and putting it on the communal table for sharing. Whether it's something sweet like cupcakes or savory like beer cheese dip, everyone loves to take a break to graze the workplace snack table (for extra points, bring food on a stressful deadline day). 

Sharing a snack creates camaraderie and prevents workers from getting hangry (two great benefits when you have to work together all day). And, there are many opportunities to bring treats to share, from cake for your birthday to a workplace anniversary to "just because." 

Traditionally, the food is placed on a table easily accessible by all, whether in the office proper or in the break room. When setting up the snacks for sharing, it's always considerate to put out napkins, plates, cups, and silverware as needed for the food you are sharing. But there is another rule you might not know about that you should be following in order to be mindful of your coworkers and workspace.

Keeping food safe and fresh

While it may seem thoughtful to leave your treats on the counter all day so people working different shifts can enjoy the food, you are actually doing them a disservice — the reason being that foods can go bad and can get people sick or go stale and not taste good. In addition, when you go home for the day, someone else will need to clean up the food. 

So, what's the best approach to sharing food and making sure no one gets left out, creating ill feelings? The better option is to keep the food covered to retain freshness of food that is not at risk of spoiling and put items that can go bad in the fridge. To make sure that food doesn't go unnoticed among co-workers, put out signs or send out an electronic message to your team. This also works great if you have food left for later shifts who may normally feel left out, but now can help themselves to food kept fresh in the fridge. 

By bringing in tasty treats and making sure they stay safe and fresh, you will be the ultimate workplace food hero.