If the saying “an army marches on its stomach” is true, then the break room kitchen is the heart and soul of any office space. The break room can be a place to relax, enjoy your food, or fill up on coffee and get some much needed R&R from the daily grind, but it can also be the center of office controversy and stress. Let’s explore some ways that we can help make the break room a place that sparks joy for everyone in the office and how to avoid common kitchen faux pas that you may not realize you are doing. It’s ok. We’ve all been there.

Rule #1: Clean Spills And Messes Up Right As They Happen

Even if you’re in a hurry to get to a meeting or phone call, take a moment to clean up a spilled coffee or lunch item. If you leave the mess as is and then duck out of the break room hoping that no one will notice it was you who made the mess, then that will make the rest of the day worse for everyone else who uses the break room kitchen next. They may even feel obligated to clean up the mess which could add undue stress to their plate. Please be kind and courteous when spills happen and make sure you take the time to get them cleaned up right away. 

Rule #2: Clearly Label Your Food Items In The Fridge

This can help to make sure that your lunch stays where it is supposed to be, especially if there are several people with similar lunch containers (like a brown paper bag or common lunch box etc.). If your food is labeled and stored in an out of the way place in the fridge it can help others ensure that they have enough room for their lunches and that everybody can confidently grab the lunch that belongs to them. To help keep the fridge nice and orderly, make sure that you are adding your lunch to the fridge and pushing it back as far as you can so that the next person to store their lunch doesn’t have to shuffle items around to get theirs to fit. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Rule #3: Pay Close Attention To The Odor Of Your Food

You should make sure that your lunch items don’t present an obnoxious or unpleasant odor as they are consumed or heated up. Some examples of this would be fish, steamed or roasted broccoli (raw broccoli is fine), Durian fruit, or Jackfruit, or the like, etc. These types of food, while all delicious in their own right, are not good choices for the local office kitchen. The pungent smell can be distracting to your fellow co-workers who may not appreciate the same culinary things you do. A good rule of thumb is to be aware of how pungent your food is and how it may affect your co-workers in a shared space. 

Rule #4: Restock What You Can When It’s Empty

If you see that the coffee pot has been drained or has been sitting there on the last few ounces for the last three hours, then it would be a nice thing to do for you to make a fresh pot. A fresh pot of coffee can be a nice way to brighten everyone else’s day a little bit and it takes very little effort on your end. 

As for other restocking tasks, it’s a good idea to always refill community items like creamer, sugar, disposable coffee cups, or napkins. If you use the last of a thing, then it helps if you then take a moment to replace it. A little kindness goes a long way!

This is by no means a complete list, but it is a good start to helping you and your co-workers coexist much more amicably. Need some help keeping the office clean? Give us a call for a quote! Have fun and stay safe out there!