In any office, the break room is generally a go-to place for a quick snack or beverage or even a brief chat with co-workers. The ideal break room should be clean, well organized and stocked with professional cleaning supplies right for any job. If you have a messy break room, there’s a lot you can do as a team to prevent a dirty office by creating an environment that's an inviting and clean shared space. This can be easy to accomplish with some simple cleaning supplies, a great attitude among colleagues and a strong desire to see the break room remain in pristine condition.
Appliances That Shine
After long periods of use, the microwave in your break room is probably messy and has the remains of food on its surface and elsewhere. It’s important to keep the proper supplies on hand to get it sparkling clean. Here's a tip: Fill a mug or bowl with water, and place it in the microwave for five minutes to create steam. When you hear the beep, open the door and spray the interior with a multi-surface vinegar cleaner. Wipe the inside with a clean sponge, and watch your break room microwave return to its former glory.
If the break room refrigerator is a constant source of contention, set up a system to keep it clean and organized. Keep labels and markers on hand so employees can label their lunches and food containers. You can also have pre-printed day-of-the-week labels close to the refrigerator, and throw away food that's overstayed its welcome. Be sure to keep a scoop in the communal ice container so it remains hygienic.
If your break room countertops are truly cluttered, it's time to create a formal system to keep everything in its place. Use clear storage bins to keep stir sticks, packets of sweetener, lids and other items within easy reach near the coffee pot. Keep extra supplies, such as napkins, coffee filters and paper plates tucked away in cabinets and drawers, and label everything for easy identification. This also encourages employees to put things back in their proper places. To keep things sanitary and maximize space, install touchless paper towel machines and plastic cutlery dispensers in your breakroom.
Keep a bottle of all-purpose cleaner next to the sink along with a fresh dish rag or sponge to encourage employees to wipe down countertops. Keep a small bin under the sink for used, dirty dish cloths, as wiping the counter with one only spreads germs and bacteria. Pop a soiled sponge in the microwave for two minutes to possibly get rid off the nasty germs hiding in its pores.
Create a Cleaning Command Center
Are you having a hard time getting everyone to participate in kitchen clean up? Establish a cleaning command center to make responsibilities clear and keep supplies handy. Hang a whiteboard with dry erase markers in the break room to establish a cleaning schedule and assign various duties, such as cleaning the refrigerator, mopping the floors or taking out the trash. Choose teams for larger tasks, and rotate assignments weekly or monthly so everyone lends a hand. Save space on the whiteboard for people to list supplies that are running low.
Place a utility cart beneath the whiteboard, and stock it with all the necessary supplies for keeping the break room clean, from paper towels and trash bags to cleaning agents and deodorizing sprays. If you keep your cleaning supplies in a visible location, employees will be more likely to use them. In addition, a rolling station makes it easy to transport the cart.
Cleanliness and organization are key considerations when creating a functional break room that works for everyone in the office. Appoint one or two employees to be in charge of the break room. While it takes cooperation from everyone to keep the communal space in tip-top shape, these designated break room chiefs can give it the occasional once-over and suggest improvements as needed.
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