office kitchen etiquette

Office Kitchen Etiquette: Top Problems and Solutions

Any time a group of people work together day after day, you’re bound to run into some issues regarding shared spaces – especially in the kitchen. Individuals’ pet peeves and personal cleanliness habits tend to clash if there aren’t set rules for break room and kitchen etiquette at work.

Think of your workplace as a community. Everyone must do their part to pitch in and keep things running smoothly. All the members of the office community need a clear understanding of the office rules and how to obey them. In the kitchen, hang a friendly sign with office kitchen rules for everyone to use as a reference.

What kitchen rules should you put on this handy list? Take a look at some of the top etiquette problems found in office kitchens, and use the simple solutions from the experts at ServiceMaster Clean® to help construct your own guidelines. You can even print out our playful list, written directly to employees, and post it in your kitchen:

Office Kitchen Etiquette 

Problem: A messy kitchen counter and dirty dishes in the sink.

Stacks of dirty dishes piling up turns the sink into a breeding ground for bacteria and odors. By the same token, garbage and food left on the counter invites bugs and pests while simultaneously taking up space that your coworkers need to prepare their food.

Solution: Clean as you go. If you create the garbage, throw it away. If you dirty the dish, wash it. If everyone picks up after themselves, there will be no mess left at the end of the day.

Problem: Food debris left in microwave.

Spills happen, wipe them up. No one wants to see what’s left of your soup explosion when they go to heat their own lunch.

Solution: When using the microwave, cover your dish with a lid or paper towel to prevent splattering. If food debris does dirty the inside of the microwave, use a damp cloth to wipe it up down before the food dries and needs a chisel for removal. If everyone offers the same consideration, no one will get stuck with a messy microwave.

Problem: Rotting food in the refrigerator.

It’s simple. Spoiled meat, sour dairy and moldy produce smell bad. Don’t let your food reach this point.

Solution: Keep track of the food and beverages you store in the community fridge. At the end of each week, check the expiration date and toss out old food. Don’t leave anything questionable in the fridge to rot over the weekend.

Problem: Stolen food.

Have you ever experienced the disappointment of opening the fridge door and finding your food missing? There’s an easy way to stop this phenomenon from ruining your day.

Solution: Clearly label personal food with your name and the date. If you bring goodies to share, label them “for everyone.” Even if you find unlabeled food, avoid eating anything that isn’t yours or hasn’t been offered directly to you.

If you notice any of your coworkers aren’t using proper office kitchen etiquette, respectfully remind them of the rules or speak privately with your manager. It’s up to everyone to help ensure the kitchen and shared spaces stay clean and friendly places.

Get more details on how to maintain your office kitchen space from the ServiceMaster Clean blog.

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