Every office goes through its trials and tribulations when it comes to the kitchen. Whether it is arguing over a stolen food item or complaining about someone not cleaning up after themselves, you can bet that something will arise in your office’s kitchen. To help prevent as much of these kitchen squabbles as possible, it is best to create office kitchen etiquette guidelines. These guidelines will serve as a reminder for employees as to how they should treat the office kitchen.
Don’t Let Your Dishes “Soak”
Letting dishes soak at home is rarely appropriate unless you are letting the giant particles of leftovers ease off of a giant casserole dish. Soaking dishes at the office is just wrong. The bowl after the soup you just wolfed down doesn’t need to soak. Rinse it off and put it in the dishwasher, or wash it by hand right then and there. You wouldn’t leave a toilet bowl unflushed so why would you leave a dirty bowl just sitting in the sink for the next poor soul to come across.
Wipe Up the Microwave and Use a Cover When Heating
The microwave is one of those areas in the kitchen that is used by the masses. This unfortunately means that it has a tendency to get filthy quick. We know you’ve opened a microwave or two you wish you wouldn’t have. There is pasta sauce cemented onto the ceiling of the microwave and what looks to be rock hard gravy around the bottom. Splatter marks cross the sides as if someone just exploded a can of paint in the microwave.
There are two easy solutions to prevent this caked on mess. The first is a preventative measure. Simply cover your food when you are heating it. Either using a plastic tupperware container with lid loosely on, you can prevent much of the splatter issues. If you don’t have a tupperware container, just cover your food with a paper towel. Again, this will help to prevent splatter.
The next solution is to clean up your spills by wiping down the microwave. You’ll be able to visually see any messes that your food has caused. Wipe them up with a paper towel and the microwave will be ready for its next victim.
Clean Up Your Spills
Spilling is a part of life. The invention of bleach and detergent are proof of that. However, your spills should not be other people’s problems. If you spill, the simplest thing to do is clean it up yourself. Don’t leisurely look around to see if someone noticed and then walk away when no one did. Don’t assume that the cleaning people have been hired to be your personal maids.
Remove Your Perishables and Toss Those That Have Perished
Bringing your lunch to work is a great idea. Leaving your lunch at work is not a great idea. The problem is that most food goes bad and it can go bad pretty quickly depending on what you eat. So if you bring a bag of salad to work, you should be bringing that bag of salad home if it hasn’t been fully consumed. Leaving perishables in the fridge is a surefire way to create some awful scents and vial mold buildup.
If you happen to see a perishable in the fridge that is long past its due date or that has accumulated mold, throw it away even if it is not yours. It is safe to assume that its original owner has forgotten about its existence.
Shake Out Toaster Crumbs
If you are a user of the toaster for your morning slice of bread or bagel, be kind and shake out your crumbs afterwards. This is especially true if you left your toast in for too long. All of the crumbs from your now burnt toast, will become someone else’s burnt smell the next time the toaster is used. Most toasters even have a nifty slide out panel at the bottom so that you are not forced to shake the toaster upside down to remove the crumbs.
Replace Anything That You Use the Last Of
Another great guideline to reduce frustrations is to have employees replace the last of anything they used. For example, if an employee takes the last paper towel, they are now responsible for getting a new paper towel roll and putting it on the paper towel holder. If you are the last person to pour a full cup of coffee, it is not your responsibility to brew a fresh pot of it.
Don’t Complain About Free Food
One of the benefits of working in an office is that someone is bound to bring in free food. Most of the time this is donuts or bagels. While you may have your fill of carbohydrates and sugar after the first round of free food, you do have to remember that it is free food. There should be no complaining about what that free food is.
Whether your co-worker brought in free cupcakes or free popsicles, you are not in a position to complain that you don’t like either of them.