Working with others in an office environment can be productive and enjoyable, and you can build lasting relationships with the people with whom you work. Sharing a common area such as a break room or kitchen can pose some problems, however, if the area is not kept clean. Many times, germs and sicknesses can spread through the workplace kitchen because of the lack of cleanliness. People are often in a hurry at work and do not stop to take the time to clean up after they’ve eaten lunch or a snack. This is why it is very important that all employees pitch in and work together to ensure that everyone has a safe, clean place to eat and take a break. Often, employees become sick because of germs that have spread from person to person at work.
In most cases, people bring items for lunch into work and leave them in the refrigerator, only to forget about them, and they sit for weeks and even months without being thrown away. If you bring in food and do not eat it within the work week, either throw it out or bring it back home. This not only makes sure the refrigerator does not get overloaded, but it helps prevent the food from rotting and smelling up the refrigerator. If you bring in dry goods like crackers or chips, be sure to store them in cabinets or under the sink and not on countertops. Keeping the kitchen counters clutter-free is not only cleaner, but it is much more polite than crowding them with your personal food items. If you use plates, forks, spoons, or cups from the workplace kitchen, wash all dishes immediately after you use them with soap and hot water and dry them thoroughly. Make sure to put all dishes and cups away to avoid excess clutter.
Many people enjoy warming up a hot lunch in the company’s kitchen microwave. Food can splatter if a lid is not left on while heating it, so make sure the microwave is wiped down and cleaned thoroughly after each use. Leaving behind a dirty microwave for the next user is not only rude but also very unsanitary. Wipe down countertops as well with a clean paper towel or pre-moistened antibacterial wipes if you’ve placed food on them or spilled something on them. Never leave food out on the table if it is not being eaten, and make sure to also throw out discarded fast-food cups and containers. If you spill something on the floor, clean it up immediately and make sure the floor is dry to avoid slipping hazards. Always wash your hands with soap and hot water before and after eating to help avoid spreading germs.
Communicating about keeping the kitchen clean with your coworkers is very important, and it helps to keep everyone accountable. If you see someone who is making a mess or not cleaning up after themselves properly, ask them politely to try and clean up after they are done eating in the company break room or kitchen. If you see the behavior continue, talk to your supervisor about the problem. Signs posted in the break room, in hallways, or on company bulletin boards can be helpful reminders to everyone about the kitchen rules. Once a standard set of rules for cleanliness is put in place, it should help keep things running smoothly and help to ensure that the eating areas are sanitary for all to use. Pitch in if you see others who need help with cleaning, and offer to do things like empty trash cans or clean up coffee makers. By working together, everyone can ensure that the kitchen at work is a safe, clean place to eat. This will also help to minimize people getting sick and makes for a much happier place of employment for all.