Your Career

8 office kitchen behaviours South Africans are getting wrong – including eating eggs

Business Insider SA
(stocksnap, Lisa Fotios)
(stocksnap, Lisa Fotios)

Defined office etiquette is necessary to ensure that people sharing a common space are respectful towards each other, says Courtenay Kleu, CEO of The School of Etiquette, even though South Africans tend to be more casual at the office than workers in many other countries.

“Etiquette depends on the environment or culture that you find yourself in,” Kleu told Business Insider South Africa.

“Each person needs to be able to adapt their behaviour to suit the environment or group of people that they find themselves in.”

Riandi Conradie, founder of the South African Etiquette Academy, says although many of aspects of business have moved online sphere, real-life interaction remains the most important part of the industry.

See also: 9 office bathroom behaviours South Africans are getting wrong – including squeezing pimples

“Etiquette is important as it gives an international guideline of how to act in any situation.”

Conradie and Kleu gave Business Insider South Africa a list of eight office kitchen behaviours where South Africans should improve.

Always clean the microwave.

It is unappealing for others to put their food into a dirty microwave, Kleu says.

“The splattered microwave which may adjust the flavour of their own meal,” she says.

Also, open a window to let the smell of your food out.”

Tell someone when the milk runs out.

Its common decency to notify the office kitchen planner should someone finish products such as the sugar, milk or coffee, Conradie says.

Remove old food from the fridge.

Woman putting food in fridge

It is easy to forget your lunch box in the office fridge at the end of the day, Conradie says.

“If this happens you are taking up space in the fridge, as well as the possibility that the food can go off.”

That is your responsibility.

Don’t eat other people’s food.

“There is nothing more frustrating than arriving in the kitchen to enjoy your long awaited meal and someone has snatched it," Kleu says.

“This is ultimate selfishness and one hopes karma will get you back three times worse.”

Avoid eggs.

People should absolutely avoid bringing food to work with strong smells which might make others uncomfortable, says Conradie.

“Foods with strong smells include eggs, cabbage and fish.”

Clean up after yourself.


People tend to forget that they are sharing a space with other people, Kleu says.

Wash you own plates, mugs, knives and forks.

“Often the cleanliness of our living spaces reflects clarity of mind. When we see a mess, it creates chaos in our brains.”

Fill up the kettle.

(Pexels, Studio 7042)

People should always fill up the kettle after using it for the next person, Conradie says.

“This gesture shows that you are courteous to others.”

Don’t comment on your colleague’s lunch.

What's really in that lunch box?

It is considered rude to comment on your colleague’s lunch, Conradie says.

“Keep your opinions to yourself, as you might offend someone.”

Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo