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 that you should keep in mind when using your company's lunchroom.
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 rule comes down to simple politeness and consideration of other coworkers who may be looking forward to their share of free coffee without having to wait for it to brew.
Keep the Space Clean
As with any communal space, it’s important to keep your breakroom 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. As a rule of thumb, leave the lunchroom as clean as or cleaner than it was when you walked into it.
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 was first placed in the fridge can help to ensure that expired food doesn’t 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 a long duration of time. It’s also best to stay near the microwave so that you can quickly remove your meal from it, allowing someone else to use it as soon as it's available.
Avoid Super Smelly Foods
In addition to avoiding meals that 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 a long time – something that no one will appreciate, be it a good smell or bad.
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 respectful of these rules and to follow them accordingly.
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