Company breakrooms stand as a retreat for employees. It’s a space to unwind and take a break, whether enjoying your lunch or leisurely reading the newspaper. Breaks throughout the day, especially for lunch, are simply necessary in order to keep employees both happy and productive. However, even though the breakroom is a place to relax, a few rules do still apply to ensure that everyone can have a tranquil experience. Here’s some breakroom etiquette to keep in mind for every workplace.
Keep the Coffee Flowing: Draining the last drop of coffee into your mug in the morning without brewing more for your coworkers might just be the worst offense one could make when it comes to breakroom etiquette. This just comes down to being polite and considerate of other coworkers who may be looking forward to their share of free coffee from the breakroom without having to wait for it to brew.
Keep the Space Clean: As with any communal space, it’s important to keep your breakroom space neat and tidy. Be sure to clean any surface after dining as others are sure to use it after you, and they won’t want to sit down to a table covered in crumbs or spills or have to clean up after someone else’s mess.
Freshen up the Fridge: Ensuring that the fridge is kept fresh can be a bit of a challenge when there are numerous employees using it to store snacks and lunches. Make sure that you don’t store anything past its expiration date. Labeling any item with both your name and the date it was stored can go a long way and serves multiple functions. Not only is a labeled item very clearly off limits to others, but knowing when an item is first placed in the fridge can help to ensure that expired food doesn’t simply just sit and rot while taking up precious fridge space.
Use the Microwave Efficiently: For the sake of others hoping to use the microwave, avoid selecting foods that will need to be microwaved for long durations of time. It’s also best to stay by or near the microwave so that you can quickly remove your meal from it, allowing someone else to use it in a timely fashion.
Avoid Super Smelly Foods: In addition to avoiding meals or foods that could potentially hog the microwave, it’s also a good idea to consider how strong the aroma of your meal may be before you take it to work. In an office environment, particularly strong smelling food can be distracting to other workers, and it can also linger in the air for quite a long time – something that no one really wants to deal with while they work.
Follow the Quirky Rules: Every office has its own breakroom rules that reflect the company’s culture. Even if they may be a bit quirky, like no popping popcorn in the office or no brewing flavored coffee and regular coffee in the same coffee maker, it’s best to be aware of these rules and to follow them.
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