How do we keep our shared office sink clean?

Most office employees would agree that a kitchen in the workplace can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, having warm meals in the middle of a busy workday is often enough to get you through the deadlines. It is also more cost-effective to bring meals from home. An office kitchen allows your employees to enjoy their breaks as much as they need to. 

That said, an office kitchen can be one of the most significant maintenance areas in the entire workspace. Because most workers use the kitchen, it can be challenging to keep the communal area clean. It can also be a source of tension, especially when employees fail to understand their boundaries. 

Just like any other room in your office, the office kitchen needs as much TLC. Below are a few guidelines that ensure the kitchen is clean and everyone gets to enjoy the amenity:

Basic Office Pantry Etiquette

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to maintain a clean office and sustain your team’s morale. Coming up with rules to follow in communal spaces can help keep the peace between employees and preserve the office kitchen’s cleanliness. Here are a few rules you can start with: 

Only Drink What is Yours

Consuming drinks and snacks you bring in the office seems like not much of a reminder; however, you would be surprised by how many people ignore this crucial rule. 

To maintain the peace in the office, keep to the food that you bring. Even if it is tempting, try your best to refrain. If you can’t, ask the person who owns the snack if they are willing to share. At the end of the day, respect begets respect, and this is doubly true when it comes to office kitchen politics. 

Label Your Food

Mistakes happen. There are times when a coworker would mistakenly pick up your food instead of theirs. To prevent this from happening too often, make sure to label your food. Mark it with big, bold letters to avoid any ambiguity. This way, no one in the office can make an excuse for not knowing any better. 

Clean as You Go

When it comes to messes, it is better to clean a spill right away than to wait for the stain to seep through the surface. Being respectful towards your co-workers means cleaning up after yourself. Leave appliances like the microwave and other amenities like lunch seating cleaner than when you found it. This way, other employees get to enjoy the same space without having to worry about throwing out the trash of the person that came before them. 

Avoid Bringing Food with Strong Odors

If you have ever worked in an office with a kitchen, there are very few things as offensive as microwaving fish or making cheese popcorn. As much as a fish meal is a great pick-me-up, best to reserve it for your dinner at home. Likewise, there are other snacks than cheese popcorn. If you genuinely are hankering for smelly treats, either wait until you are alone in the break room or eat them cold. 

Practice Good Kitchen Sink Etiquette

One of the most essential kitchen sink rules is never to leave dishes and cutlery unwashed. Unlike in your home, there are other people who would be using the sink. It is only respectful to wash your dishes right away and not keep them in the sink for other people to take care of. 

Be Mindful of Other People’s Time

In most offices, employees only have an hour and a half for lunch. That said, everyone deserves a couple of minutes to be away from their keyboards and relax in the office kitchen or shared break room. Be mindful of how long you stay and make sure that everyone gets their turn. 

3 Tips in Maintaining the Cleanliness of the Office Kitchen 

Your employees can only do so much when it comes to office kitchen maintenance. You bear the brunt of the responsibility of managing the space. Below are a few ways you can maintain the area:

Make Rules Visible

Once you have worked out a break room schedule and figured out appropriate kitchen sink rules, post the guidelines in various communal areas. Make sure these posters grab the attention of your employees. Print them in big, bold letters so workers wouldn’t miss them. You can also post additional guidelines above certain appliances to remind people how to use them properly. 

Create A Break Room Cleanliness Checklist

Like the office bathroom, it is crucial to keep every square inch of the office kitchen clean. After all, it is an area your employees eat in. Health risks abound. As a manager, your employees are your best assets. Keeping them safe should be a priority. To make sure that no maintenance task is forgotten, create a break room cleanliness checklist. Having this list posted within the room ensures that your personnel does not forget their office responsibilities. 

Clean Out the Fridge at Least Once a Week

There are very few things as disgusting as an unkempt office kitchen fridge. If left unchecked, mold and bacteria can thrive inside the appliance. This can affect the level of safety of the kept food. Erring on the safe side is vital. Schedule a weekly fridge clean-out and inform all employees. Give them a deadline and throw out EVERYTHING that is in the fridge after the due date has passed. When you are dealing with food, you simply cannot be too safe. 

Key Takeaways 

Three things lie at the heart of a clean office kitchen – respect, mindfulness, and a well-thought-out maintenance plan. This is the same for most communal areas in your workspace. 

Need help maintaining the cleanliness of your office? You don’t have to go through it alone! Often, your best bet is to partner with professionals. Professional commercial cleaners offer a level of cleanliness like no other. Invest in your workspace and the health and wellness of your employees, and contact us today!