From individuals who refuse to mop up spilt milk to those who leave tea bags in the sink, office kitchen etiquette is often the subject of debate in many workplaces. Research by AppliancesDirect.co.uk, found that out of the 1,000 UK office worker they surveyed, 67% had fallen out with co-workers in the past 12 months due to the state of the kitchen, and the washing up.
Most employees have the best intentions when it comes to office kitchen hygiene, but there are always some staff members who aren’t as concerned about how they leave the breakroom. So before any speculation as to who it was that left the mess in the microwave hits the office grapevine, try implementing a number of office kitchen rules in your workplace for everyone to follow.
1. Make it official
It’s a more than a matter of common courtesy to clean up behind yourself in communal office areas. Counters stained with tea and coffee don’t give off the best impression to clients, customers or visitors. That’s why it’s important to have rules in place, so that every employee is aware of the standards they’re expected to keep the breakroom area in.
Include things like rinsing out the sink after using it, not leaving teabags piled on the surfaces and being aware of food that’s about to go out of date in the staff fridge.
2. Be prepared
You should have all necessary cleaning supplies within easy reach for employees, to help facilitate the cleaning policies at hand. In the events of spillages, paper towels should be readily available to help prevent potential slip hazards.
For areas like the sink, draining board and microwave, food debris can accumulate and bacteria and mould can spread. A study by adeptcleaning.co.uk found that the area where staff prepare and eat their food was at the top of office germ ‘hot-spots’ list, so it makes sense to have anti-bacterial cleaning spray close by, to help combat this.
3. Be obvious
Sometimes the policy alone isn’t enough, it can fall to the bottom of an inbox or be forgotten. It’s important to signpost the key points from the policy in the kitchen or breakroom itself. Reminders and signs, if kept professional or even tongue-in-cheek, can be a big help in keeping the cleaning policy at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
4. Make everyone responsible
It makes a difference to everyone whether they eat in a clean kitchen, or in a messy one. By flagging up instances where policies have been contravened, anonymously, people will start to understand that these incidents aren’t going unnoticed. Examples of this could be circulating pictures of dirty cups left on the sideboard or food explosions in the microwave that haven’t been cleaned. The point isn’t to embarrass the team, but to make them realise that cleanliness is something that the company is serious about. This should make people stop and think about whether they’re doing their bit, and if not, where they can make changes.
Keeping the office kitchen and breakroom area clean is in the interests of everyone who works there. By implementing simple yet effective rules, you could be helping every employee feel happier and less like they’re eating or drinking in an unclean environment.
Make the most of your office breakroom by visiting our Food and Breakroom solutions page to learn all about the offers and assortments we can provide. You can also download our Vantage point Magazine page for insights on how to keep your employees happy and productive.
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