Even if you work in a small office, you know that things can get chaotic in the kitchen. Why? The answer is simple – very few people like cleaning up after they’ve used the microwave, a mug or a plate. In the end of the day, you’ll probably see a huge pile of dirty dishes in the sink, breadcrumbs on the floor and stains on the office fridge.
Maintaining a tidy and perfectly ordered kitchen that everybody can enjoy is far from an extremely challenging task. A few things will restore the order and motivate people to be at least a bit more considerate.
There should be rules and people should be reminded about them. People should know that they need to rinse their mug in the end of the day. It should be clear right from the start who’s responsible for keeping the kitchen organized.
Apart from using signs, you should also consider creating a kitchen maintenance calendar. Print it out and enter the names of the people who will be responsible for kitchen cleaning during the respective week.
People neglect common spaces because they can easily get away with the behavior. Once it’s clear that the kitchen mess will no longer be tolerated, things will become a whole lot easier (and cleaner).
A Little Bit of Shaming can be Beneficial
Shaming people into action isn’t necessarily the best approach but very often, no other strategy will work. We’re not kidding – if you have a large office, the mess will creep in once again sooner or later.
Try a bit of peer pressure and just a little big of shaming to get the kitchen cleaned.
In the very beginning, you may want to label everybody’s mug and plate. It does sound like going back to kindergarten but the strategy can be quite effective. In the end of the day, the labels will make it a lot easier to identify the people who are contributing to the mess. A humorous “wall of shame” in the kitchen is the perfect tool for shaming these people into changing their filthy habits.
Invest in Kitchen Cleaning Supplies
People are a lot more likely to keep things clean if they have the right tools and supplies that will simplify kitchen maintenance.
Make sure that the office kitchen is always stocked up on the essential cleaning supplies. Sponges, detergent, microfiber cloths, a small handheld vacuum, paper towels and rubber gloves are some of the essentials needed for kitchen cleaning. All of these items are inexpensive and they’ll last for a long period of time.
A Simple Psychological Trick
You don’t need to have someone supervising the cleaning habits of your coworkers. Studies suggest that the mere illusion of being observed prompts people to be more socially responsible.
The addition of posters or pictures of human eyes gets people experiencing the sensation of being observed. The simple addition of such pictures to the office kitchen is likely to make people more eager to observe the rules.
Set Personal Example
Having more people adhering to shared kitchen etiquette will make the rest of the workers likelier to clean up. This is why you should start by setting an example.
Always wash and dry your plate and mug after using them. The more you wait, the more you’re not going to feel like getting these items cleaned. If you make a spill on the floor, clean it immediately. The cleaning will be a lot easier, plus you’ll be acting in a responsible way. Wet spills on the floor can contribute to somebody else falling down and injuring themselves.
Clean the fridge and throw out leftovers from your older meals. Wash the coffee pot every now and then and brew some fresh coffee for your coworkers. Such good habits will probably
“rub off “ on others and they’ll also start acting a bit more considerate.
Finally, don’t forget to pick a quality janitorial service or a commercial cleaning company. Regular kitchen maintenance by professionals will reduce the risk of a big mess. Remember that the kitchen is a shared space, thus germs and bacteria can spread easily. By going for a quality commercial cleaning service, you’ll keep the kitchen looking beautiful and you’ll also make it a healthy space for the preparation of delicious food.