I am quite new to Office environment, so I am not not much familiar with Workplace etiquettes. Our Lunch timings is from 2 pm to 3 pm. But our seniors are mostly busy doing their project stuff at that time and they mostly leave their seats at about 2:30 for Lunch. But I most of the time leave my seat for lunch at exact 2 pm.

I would like to know if it is a good etiquette to leave for lunch even if the senior guys are on their seats. Does it gives a bad impression.?

Note- I work in IT company, so you could understand a break's value for a programmer. I work in a company with a 4 floor setup and about 200 employees in the same building, though it is quite a large company with employees in trades other than IT.

  • 3
    You're over-analyzing this. Seniority != first butt off the chair. You should go for lunch whenver it's best for you such that you maximize your productivity, that's all.
    – MrFox
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 19:09
  • 1
    This is really company culture dependent. I worked in some places with people who would fairly often joke about how they wished they could go to lunch with the team but because of meetings/etc could not.
    – enderland
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 17:20
  • In addition to being company culture dependent, it also varies based on what country you are in. Knowing that might enable people to provide better answers
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 22:52

2 Answers 2


My concern would not be with the fact that you're going for lunch earlier than most, but with the fact that you said "exact 2 pm".

My experience, in a programming world, is that if you leave your desk at the exact same time (lunch or evening) every day then you get a reputation for it. And it's not entirely unfair. This is not the kind of job where you can finish a task at an expected time so, if you're leaving at the same time then the assumption is that you're spending the end of each morning/afternoon clock-watching.

That said, it is culture-specific. I have worked for one company where that was the norm. The end of the day was 5:15, which was deliberately specific, and everyone shot up and left at that time. I didn't (largely cause I didn't then want to spend an hour getting out of the car park) but, because that was the culture, I didn't get credited for it. If I was ten minutes late in the morning, I was in trouble and, if I finished a task at 5:10 one day, I couldn't make the adult decision to leave early "just this once".

Since then, I've deliberately looked for companies that have a more flexible time-keeping culture (especially in London, where missing rush-hour makes for a much less stressful day). But, in those, I've seen the people who do follow a strict and inflexible pattern frowned upon harder than others who don't even do their standard hours in a day (assuming they mostly get the job done, nonetheless).

But, I will stress that this answer is because you asked about the etiquette side specifically. Fact is that you won't ever end up getting fired for working to rule.

  • Fact is that you won't ever end up getting fired for working to rule. you will also never get promoted for it either. If you are content to work the same job for basically the same pay for years on end then working to the rules is fine. But if you do so for a few years it will be harder to convince anyone you have changed should you decide you are no longer content. Because they are not going to want promote you just to have you fall back into that old pattern of working to the rule Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 17:05
  • Going to lunch at the same time everyday is hardly considered abnormal and should not cause issues. I get hungry at the same time every day regardless of how far I am into my task.
    – Andy
    Commented Apr 9, 2015 at 0:07

You need to eat, no?

It depends on your company culture and politics. We'd all expect to be treated like adults at our workplaces but if the questions we see up here are anything to go by, that's usually not the case.

It should only be a problem if you're missing for 2 whole hours. 45 minutes to an hour and you're back promptly at your desk, you should not be hassled. Unless you're at a company that rates an employee's productivity by how much time they spend glued to their desks, I wouldn't worry about it. Spend no more than the allowed length time within the stipulated (if any) period of time and you should be fine.

After all is said and done, even if you're in a less than mature working environment, you should still go to eat when you have to. Treating your lunch time as valuable ends up being your responsibility. If you don't , you set a risky precedent where your employer will randomly expect you to postpone or skip lunch on a whim

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