There’s good reason office kitchen etiquette is so important. The office kitchen can provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of work, or it can offer a germ-ridden nightmare that employees strive to avoid. You can guess which type of office kitchen encourages higher morale and happier employees. Every company wants the most brilliant employees who are personally invested in building their brand to the top. To secure top-notch workers, it’s important to provide a top-notch work environment—and that entails a clean office kitchen.
No one wants to keep their lunch in a fridge that smells like last week’s tuna and is dotted in mold and crusty stains. Surprisingly, according to numerous research studies, one of the dirtiest places in any office is the kitchen… where employees go to fill their bellies and coffee mugs. One study by The Healthy Workplace Project found 75% of break room sink faucet handles contained unsanitary levels of contaminants. Their findings were the same for 48% of microwave door handles, 26% of refrigerator door handles, 23% of water fountain buttons, and 21% of vending machine buttons.
So, while you might think bathrooms are gross, the office kitchen could potentially be a lot grosser. Thankfully, you can avoid that problem by hiring a professional commercial cleaning service, like Tidy Team. Hiring a professional maid service to clean your office is the best way to ensure even the dirtiest and most neglected areas of the office kitchen are clean. Improve employee morale and reduce employee illnesses in one sweep, contact Tidy Team for a free quote!
Proper Office Kitchen Etiquette
Anyone that uses the office kitchen should follow the same set of rules. You can improve fluidity by posting the rules on a wall. Some of the most common rules regarding office kitchen etiquette are outlined below.
#1. Don’t hog the refrigerator.
Refrigerator real estate is a real thing that deserves respect. There’s only so much room in the company fridge and nobody likes a refrigerator hog. It’s common courtesy to only use the fridge to store items that must be kept cold. Keep everything else in a bag or cooler near your desk to free up space for everyone else.
#2. Never eat or drink something that doesn’t belong to you.
Much worse than the fridge hog is the fridge thief. Eating a yogurt parfait that doesn’t belong to you is stealing, it doesn’t matter how delicious it looks.
#3. Label food and drinks you put in the fridge.
You can at least try to protect yourself against food thieves by labeling your food with your name. Unlabeled food could be mistaken as free-for-all, but labeled foods, not so much. Jerry, we know you’ve been stealing everyone’s snacks.
#4. Don’t leave your food in the work fridge long enough for it to spoil.
No one needs to leave food in the office fridge for more than a day or two, and leaving something in there until it spoils is just plain rude. Rotting fruits and vegetables release ethylene, which causes everything else in the fridge to rot faster. So not only is it gross, it’s also damaging to your coworkers’ lunches.
#5. Clean up after yourself, 100%.
Clean every surface, appliance or tool you use in the kitchen before putting it back. You want to leave it as clean as you found it (or cleaner) so that no one even knows you used it. If you spill something, or your pasta dish explodes in the microwave, clean it up! Even if there’s an office janitor or maid service, it’s considered anti office kitchen etiquette to do anything other than clean it up right away.
#6. Alert the proper authorities when shared kitchen supplies run low.
If the paper towel roll is on its last sheet or the soap is almost gone, make sure the appropriate person is told. The same goes for any broken appliances or utensils.
#7. Leave your stinky foods at home.
There are plenty of yummy food favorites that come with strong odors, but no one wants to smell them in the community break room or office fridge. Save your stinky foods for later and bring odor-neutral foods to the office.
#8. If you take the last cup of coffee, brew more for the next person that comes along.
Don’t take the last cup of coffee and then zip out of the office kitchen before anyone else comes seeking a caffeine pick-me-up. Common courtesy says you should brew fresh coffee for the next person who comes along.