In any office, the workplace kitchen can be both a bonus and a headache. While staff members appreciate the opportunity to get together away from the office floor and to have the convenience of preparing their own food and drinks, there are always going to be some issues to deal with. Shared spaces always raise their own etiquette problems, and cleanliness habits often differ between staff members. If there are no rules in place, it’s all too easy for discontent to get out of hand – not to mention hygiene!
Everybody in the workplace community needs to do their bit to keep the office running smoothly, and that extends to the kitchen too. So how do you go about addressing the issues of workplace kitchen etiquette? Here, we take a look at some of the common problems and how to handle them in the most effective manner.
Problem 1 – Dirty Dishes And Messy Surfaces
Piles of dirty cups and plates in the sink is a hygiene hazard and a ripe breeding ground for odours and bacteria. Food and rubbish left on surfaces encourages pests and bugs while also taking up vital space for co-workers to prepare food.
This problem can be resolved by putting in place a policy of each person cleaning as they go. Whoever creates the rubbish should put it in the bin. Whoever uses the plates, cups and dishes should wash them. When everyone tidies up after themselves, there shouldn’t be any mess!
Problem 2 – A Dirty Microwave
How often have you opened the office microwave only to find dried on soup and remnants of re-heated meals? We all know that spills can happen, but not everybody is prepared to wipe up after themselves.
This problem can be resolved by supplying lids and paper towels which can be placed over dishes to guard against splashes and splatters. A polite sign should encourage workers to use a cloth to clean the microwave if a spill does occur before the food dries onto the surface.
Problem 3 – Leftovers In The Office Fridge
How often have workers brought food to work for lunch but decided to go out to eat instead? Leftovers in the fridge eventually go off, go mouldy and start to smell.
This problem can be resolved by ensuring that all foods and drinks stored in the office fridge are tracked regularly. A check should be made at the end of every week and any food which has passed its expiry date should be thrown away.
Ensuring The Rules Are Followed
Putting up clear notices around the kitchen should ensure that most staff members adhere to proper kitchen etiquette. For those that don’t, a serious chat with the individuals in question should be sufficient to change their behaviour.
As for keeping the office kitchen clean – it can be time-consuming for staff members to take on this responsibility as well as their own roles. However, a commercial cleaning service can help with this. By hiring a professional team of office cleaners, you can be confident that, whatever etiquette breaches there are in the kitchen during the working day, at least it will stay clean and hygienic!