The office kitchen or the break room is place that everyone uses. Don’t forget the guest and the occasional “would you like a cup of coffee” trips. What does your Business Kitchen or Break Room say about your company? It is an important question to consider as it may be speaking volumes to your visitors, not to mention the effect it may have on you and your co-workers that use it everyday.
Your commercial cleaning, or janitorial service may do the nightly cleaning of these rooms but they generally are not around all day during office hours to look after all the little tidying up that is often needed after each and every person uses the break room.
Here are some simple manners and common courtesies that should be kept in mind by all. Not “Break Room Rules”, just some helpful reminders to us that enhance our professional lives.
Okay, admittedly that might sound a little bit like dear old Mom. But think about it, everyone is entitled to some space in the fridge or a spot in the cupboard. With that in mind – don’t just toss your lunch into the spot up front. Take a moment to arrange your items carefully among others that might already be in there, leave a little room for the next person and their items.
Where’s my sandwich?
Identify what belongs to you. No, we are not talking about going to camp and putting I.D. Tags on everything, nor staking our territory as a specific shelf in the fridge. Simply marking your items will help to avoid any misunderstandings in the case of misplaced, discarded or wrongfully eaten food. That half eaten sandwich on a shelf may be something you planned to eat later but another well-meaning individual might assume it is a leftover that has been forgotten and toss it in the trash. If it’s yours and you want it, label it so others know!
Preventing Spoiled items
On Friday, or if your day off is approaching, be sure to remove items that belong to you that will spoil.
Consider taking turns caring for the Break Room. Select someone in the workplace to be in charge of creating a cleaning schedule for things like dishes etc. that the janitor service might not cover or might take care of much later that evening.
That last cup of coffee The Coffee Pot
If you are the one that drinks that last of the coffee in the pot, it is considerate to make another pot. Or, if it is too late for more, make sure that the pot is turned off. What’s worse than the awful smell of burned coffee?
Microwave and behind that closed door
If you use the microwave to reheat leftovers, be sure to wipe it down if your dish has overflowed or sprayed around the oven. Spills that are left unattended not only dry hard and become more difficult to remove; they also create an odor for the next person who uses the oven. Another tip if you are the one that cleans the microwave. Take 2 cups of water and ½ a cup of white vinegar, heat on high for 2 minutes. All those crusty splatters can simply be wiped clean.
Crumbs and Spills
Little spills in the kitchen should be swept up as they happen. This will leave the room neat and tidy for the next person’s use. Tables and counters should also be wiped down. All empty disposable cups and napkins should be disposed of.
Hey! We are all out of water
Replace the bottled water if you use the last of the supply, or arrange to have a new water bottle put on the cooler if you use the last of it.
Hope this helps
These are just a few simple things that everyone can be aware of and perhaps be a little more pro-active to help make the office a cleaner, healthier place for yourself, your guests and for everyone.