Part of the reason lunch can boost your performance at work is that food literally fuels your brain, which needs a constant supply of energy to function optimally.

London - In offices around the world, hard-pressed workers often can’t find the time to take a proper lunch break.

Instead, many are left scoffing sandwiches while firing off e-mails at their desks.

So it comes as little surprise that people who eat noisily at work are now the biggest frustration for their colleagues.

New research has found that as many as 74 percent of us now find we’re too busy to leave the office for the traditional hour lunch break.

And it seems to be having a negative impact on the work environment – with food causing the most office frustrations.

It tops messiness, lateness and people moaning about feeling ill.

Research by Ainsley Harriott Cup Soup found 57 percent of 2 500 Britons said noisy eaters were the most annoying for their colleagues.

A further 26 percent said they couldn’t stand smelly food while they were trying to work.

But we would rather suffer in silence than do something about it – 83 percent avoid a confrontation by keeping gripes to themselves.

Men are slightly bolder when it comes to dealing with an issue – 20 percent will, compared to 14 percent of women.

The most popular method of tackling the problem is face to face, but 2 percent admit they’d rather do it via e-mail.

Commenting on the findings, etiquette expert William Hanson said: “The very British option may be to do and say nothing to careless colleagues.

“But it is best practice to deal with the problem directly.

“Take the annoying colleague aside, face to face and, with a nice smile and your nicest voice, subtly make your gripe known.

“Don’t do this in front of the entire office so that the miscreant is embarrassed.”

Research also found lateness was a gripe for 75 percent of workers, while colleagues who don’t listen or talk over others also ranked up there.

David Cherrie, marketing controller for the survey company, said: “It’s interesting that food-related grievances come out on top in the office.

“We’re all too cowardly to confront each other, which means our work relationships could be suffering over what are basically poor table manners.” – Daily Mail


* Noisy eating

* Messy colleagues

* Not washing up

* Smelly food

* Lateness

* Not listening

* Colleagues talking over you

* Clicking pens

* Personal phone calls

* Complaining of illness