3 Ways to Deal With a Messy Office Kitchen
While you want to give your employees somewhere to make drinks, store their lunch and prepare light meals, your office kitchen may be one of the biggest headaches you have. People like using the kitchen but don't like cleaning up after themselves.
At the end of the working day, your kitchen may be a mess. Unwashed cups and crockery fill up the sink, and your counters and floors have food scraps and spills on them. By the end of the week, the kitchen's fridge may smell due to expired food.
Mess isn't just a cosmetic problem; it also has wider hygiene effects. For example, food scraps and spills attract pests. Your cleaners may not be able to clean the space effectively if people clog benchtops with stuff they can't be bothered to put away.
To turn your messy kitchen into a cleaner and more hygienic space, set some kitchen rules and enforce them. What's the best way to do this?
1. Ask Employees What They Think
Involve your employees in the rule-setting process. Have an office meeting or send out an email explaining that you want to set up some kitchen rules. Ask employees what they think needs to be done to keep the kitchen in a better state.
The feedback you get could tell you about problems you haven't thought about yourself; your employees may also come up with some useful solutions. Plus, making people aware that you have noticed the constant mess may make some realise that they need to up their game.
2. Set a List of Rules
Once you have input from your employees, make a set of kitchen rules. Take a less-is-more approach. People cope better with a few basic rules than a massive list.
For example, you could start with the following basic rules:
- People should wash, dry and put away any cups, mugs or crockery they use as soon as they are finished with them.
- Spills or food debris on benchtops, floors, or in appliances like microwaves, should be cleaned up immediately.
- Anything that comes out of a cupboard should go back in it after use.
- Rubbish goes in the bin immediately.
- People should regularly check food they keep in the fridge and throw away anything that they no longer want or can use.
As well as telling people what your new rules are, post them up in the kitchen in an obvious place. This stops people from making the excuse that they forgot to do something.
Also, make sure that your kitchen is always supplied with dishwashing liquid, sponges, kitchen towels and a mop so that people can easily clean up after themselves.
3. Enforce the Rules
Rules are easy to set but harder to enforce. Even if your employees agree that the kitchen needs sorting, they may find it harder to change their habits.
You may need to take a nagging approach to get people on track. For example, send employees a daily reminder to clean up after themselves for a while. If you know who isn't following the rules, then have a quiet word and tell them they need to step up.
If all else fails, then a stricter approach may help. For example, if people don't put their stuff back in cupboards, then tell them it'll be thrown out at the end of every day. The risk of losing stuff encourages people to follow the rules.
Your office cleaning crew can make it easier to enforce kitchen cleaning rules. Even employees who are messy around the kitchen appreciate the space more when it is kept clean.
Comclean Australia can help you get your office kitchen back on track. Our teams give your kitchen a deep clean to get it looking like new again. We can then set a regular cleaning schedule to cover the basics in the future. To find out more, contact us.