Breakroom Etiquette: 6 Rules Everyone Should Follow

Many offices provide “sanctuaries” known as breakrooms for employees to relax and unwind periodically throughout their day. There’s no denying the fact that taking occasional breaks during a typical workday can help keep employees happy, motivated, and productive. And while the general idea of a breakroom is to keep things casual and informal, there are still some basic rules, like the six ones discussed below, that can make life pleasant for anyone who uses this particular hangout on a regular basis.

1. Keep the Java Fresh and Flowing 

Nobody likes to go into a breakroom and find a pot of coffee that’s either completely empty or looking like something resembling sludge. It should be generally understood that whoever finishes the last pot of coffee makes a new one. It also won’t hurt to be proactive about freshening up java that’s clearly been sitting around too long.

2. Keep Things Tidy 

An office breakroom obviously isn’t a four-star restaurant. Still, it shouldn’t be used as a dumping ground for crumbs, napkins, bags, or used Styrofoam containers from local eateries. As a general rule, all employees should make an effort to leave breakroom furniture and counters just as clean as they were before taking their break.

3. Be Mindful of What’s In the Fridge 

Yes, it can be helpful to label anything that’s in the fridge with a name and date to prevent co-workers from taking what’s not theirs. Getting into the habit of labeling stuff can also prevent unpleasant odors and free up precious space by ensuring food isn’t sticking around beyond its expiration date.

4. Respectfully Use the Microwave 

Avoid the temptation to bring foods that will need to rotate in the microwave for long periods of time. Be respectful of the fact that other people may also want to nuke things quickly to enjoy a warm, tasty lunch.

5. Avoid Excessively Odorous Foods 

Reheated fish may hit the spot for you, but it could also a source of a nausea for co-workers. Think about the aroma of any foods you plan to heat up. In a breakroom that’s not too far from the main office area, particularly strong odors can travel and linger for hours, which can be disruptive to co-workers and even bothersome for potential clients, customers, and visiting VIPs.

6. Follow Office Breakroom Rules 

Some workplaces have “quirky” rules that may not make sense to everyone. Even so, such rules are in place for a reason, so make an effort to follow them. For instance, it may seem like a pain to have to brew flavored coffees in a separate coffeemaker, but your regular coffee drinking co-workers will appreciate not having a slight hint of a flavor they don’t like all that much in their java.

It’s a good idea to be very explicit and print out the rules/guidelines and putting them somewhere for everyone to see. Perhaps getting everyone in teams and putting those teams on a cleaning schedule is a good idea too.

Yet another way to make your office’s breakroom more appealing is to make sure the furniture that’s in it is comfortable, modern, and a perfect reflection of your business. Luckily, the team at Office Innovations is prepared to help you with such goals. For instance, we offer reconfiguration services you can take advantage of to improve your breakroom’s layout.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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