Offices for many of us are like second homes. Many people actually spend more awake hours at the office than they do at their own homes. The reality of this has entered our day to day talk with terms such as work spouse and office life. For many people their office space is like their own little world away from home with pictures of family and inspirational quotes. While your desk is your own space, the breakroom and office kitchen are very much not.
The company kitchen can quickly turn into a battle ground when a yogurt goes missing or someone stinks up the fridge with some odd fish concoction from take out the night before. Subtle annoyances can quickly spill over and make for an uncomfortable breakroom and bad office dynamics. Let’s face it, when we get time to take a break the last thing we want is to have to deal with unnecessary drama. How do you avoid this and keep a happy work space? Here are a few ideas on what you can do to ensure that your office kitchen is a place for relaxing and refueling.
Have a sharpie nearby and let your workers know that everything in the fridge needs to be labeled. Write your name on your yogurt and your soda pop. If you're one of those super generous folks and you brought brownies to share, label it for everyone please enjoy! If it's not labeled it's going into the trash. It's a hard rule to have but it will get your team in line when it comes to getting their names on things.
Once a month, Friday is the best day to do this, the entire fridge gets emptied and anything in it, labeled or not, goes in the trash. This is going to help stop the clutter from collecting. Who doesn't love to bring salad dressing to work or a favorite hot sauce and keep it in the fridge for a week or so… you know, just in case you need it. These things tend to pile up until you no longer know what is in the back of the fridge… but it just doesn't smell right. A monthly empty will cut the clutter and keep your fridge clean.
Like most things in life, it all comes down to communication. No matter what protocol you devise for your company kitchen, ensure that everyone is made aware. A laminated sign on the fridge is a great tool to ensure that even those who didn't read their email will know the rules of the kitchen.
While the fridge is the source of most office kitchen trouble, there also needs to be rules about keeping the surfaces clean and dishes out of the sink. Don't let kitchen messes burn your team or cause a stink in the office. Try a few simple rules aimed at the biggest issues and above all else, follow through on the rules. If you need more advice on keeping your office nice give the pros at 208 Cleaning a call and let us take the lead on keeping your office safe and clean.