June 12, 2014

The Ultimate Office Break Room Etiquette Guide

Nine Tips for Great Break Room Etiquette

At Company Kitchen, one thing we know a lot about is break rooms. We have been transforming them from cold, sterile boxes to bright, interactive markets offering fresh foods, more variety, and much healthier options. Regardless of whether your office has a Company Kitchen or not, we have created a few universal rules to follow to keep everyone happy.

  1. CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF!  Don’t leave wrappers, empty cups or other trash on the counter. Wipe up spills, splatters, crumbs and condensation.
  2. DO NOT USE THE REFRIGERATOR FOR STORAGE. Use it to keep your meal or snack cold for that day until you eat it. No one likes to see rotting fruit, yogurt, or casserole in their fridge.
  3. LABEL YOUR FOOD! Contrary to popular belief, the food in the company refrigerator is not fair game. If you do not want someone to drink your soft drink or eat your lunch, make sure you mark it as yours. If you bring in goodies for everyone to share, label them as such.
  4. DON’T BE A FREE LOADER! See rule #3. Do not browse the break room looking for free food, and don’t take someone else’s food (even if they did not put their name on it).
  5. YOU KILL IT, YOU FILL IT. Finish the pot of coffee?  Brew a fresh pot. Silverware, cups, paper towels, sugar packets are all the same – if you finish it, replace it with a new container.
  6. DO YOUR DISHES. No one likes to see dirty dishes accumulate in the sink.
  7. TAKE A BREAK. It’s called a break room for a reason – people are there for a break. Don’t bother them with work talk or gossip.
  8. REMEMBER THE MICROWAVE DOES NOT CLEAN ITSELF. It gets food hot, fast. It does not automatically clean itself after each use. Be sure to wipe down the inside and the handle if it gets splattered or greasy.
  9. BE CONSIDERATE. Don’t reheat old fish or bring in a fragrant or exotic dishes if it will distract everyone else with its smell. Don’t squish someone’s food to make room for yours. Just use common sense, and everyone will be much happier.


Do you have rules at your office that are not mentioned above?  Please share them below.