Office Kitchen Etiquette – A Guide to Sharing the Office Kitchen

In any shared space there needs to be an agreement in some good office kitchen etiquette as to how the area is maintained, and this is certainly true of keeping your office kitchens clean. Especially when your co-workers are stressed, short of time and hungry!

Your office cleaning contractor will handle the main areas in the building but in the kitchen, cleaning up after yourself is not only respectful and displays good manners, it also contributes to maintaining a clean and sanitary environment, keeping bugs and viruses and bay.

The Rules of Office Kitchen Etiquette:

1. Storage

Storage space in office kitchens is not only shared, it’s also limited so don’t fill up the cupboards like you would at home. Take in only what you need and always remember to correctly label your food items. Your co-workers don’t want to be sifting through 10 year old tins either so be sure to dispose of anything that is out of date or simply no longer required.

2. Fridge

This surely has to be one of the key areas for disagreements in the kitchen! Label all of your food and only bring in what you will be eating that day to prevent over-crowding and food going off. If you haven’t eaten your lunch that day, take it home with you; don’t leave it for someone else to dispose of. Equally if there is rotting food in the fridge, dispose of it even if it doesn’t belong to you.

3. Clean up

It is best practice to wash up and dry your dishes as soon as you’ve finished with them. Don’t just pile them into the sink. Clean up any mess you’ve made whilst cooking or eating too, that includes wiping up food spillages, excess water around the sink. Any food or liquids spilled on the floor could pose as a safety hazard and you don’t want your co-workers injured in the kitchen because you didn’t mop up.

4. Appliances

If you are cooking something in the microwave be sure to cover the food appropriately so it’s doesn’t splatter. Wipe down the inside of the microwave after use too, leaving it clean and ready for the next person. Most people are in a rush at lunch so don’t start cooking your food and walk away, stay until it’s pinged so you don’t hold up the next person wanting to use it. If you use the toaster, after use shake out the crumbs and wipe the counter.

5. Refills

We all know how frustrating it is to reach for the teabags only to find they’ve all gone. If you use the last of something such as sugar, coffee, teabags, paper towel, plastic utensils, replace them straight away or notify your office manager if there are no refills available.

6. Leftovers

Leftovers from parties or meetings out on the counter are only fair game when left in a community area. And the same rules apply regarding clean-up of party food and platters, if everyone clears up after themselves then there shouldn’t be a problem. It’s the rules of office kitchen etiquette!

7. Bin

When the bin is full and overflowing don’t try and ram more rubbish into it and play bin jenga with it! Either bag it up yourself and fit a new bin liner or inform your office manager to have building management come and do it. Think about double bagging something in the bin if it has a really strong odour.