The office kitchen is one of the most important parts of your office culture. It’s where coworkers gather to refuel and take a much-needed break from the daily grind.
Your office kitchen may feel like an afterthought, but it’s actually an important responsibility for office managers. A clean, attractive, well-stocked office kitchen can go a long way toward boosting employee satisfaction. In fact, we believe it’s just as important as having a variety of delicious snacks in the office.
Research backs this up, too. One study found that 57% of employees stated having a well-kept office kitchen made them more productive and increased satisfaction.
So what’s the best way to set up your office kitchen? Let’s dive in.
Evaluate your current kitchen space as it is right now. Are you planning to renovate, or work with what you’ve got? If renovation isn’t in your office budget, assess what you’re starting with first.
Take a look at the following areas of your office kitchen and consider some ways you can improve on what you already have.
Do you have plenty of cabinets and storage space? If not, you may need to consider adding durable wall shelves or countertop organizers. Adding a bar or floating island might also be an option for you, as this would add both countertop and cabinet space to your kitchen area. If you have a budget to upgrade the cabinets in your kitchen area, keep the design in mind.
How big is the office fridge? Do you need to upgrade its size? Does it need to be thoroughly cleaned? Consider whether adding a drink cooler would be advantageous, in addition to the fridge.
Does your office kitchen have a dishwasher? If not, is there a sink where employees can wash their dishes?
Is the sink in your office kitchen roomy enough to wash dishes in? Do the faucets work properly? Consider whether you need to update the sink, based on its functionality. If you have a budget to upgrade the space, consider aesthetics too. Don't forget a drying rack and plenty of cleaning utensils!
Do you have room in your kitchen space for tables and chairs? What about a bar with stools? Making the kitchen as accessible and relaxing as possible is a major plus for work teams that work hard and pull long hours.
If you don’t already have one, consider adding a coffee maker to your kitchen. This could be a traditional coffee pot with ground coffee and filters or a single-serve coffee maker with a variety of K-cups to choose from. Keep regular and decaf coffee around, as well as creamer, spoons, straws, and milk. This is excellent for people who need to avoid consuming caffeine.
Having mugs, plates, bowls, cups, and silverware could be a nice addition to your office kitchen. If you’re not able to trust your employees to keep the area clean, though, you might want to consider sticking to biodegradable paper products instead of dish ware.
Keeping a full water cooler in the kitchen where employees can fill their bottles throughout the day is incredibly important. It eliminates the team’s need to worry about bringing their own bottled water into the office, and staying hydrated will help them feel more productive and clear-headed throughout the day.
There should be an easy-to-access prep area near the sink or microwave with enough room for at least one or two people to stand and work. A prep area is fantastic for office luncheons or holiday parties, but it’s an important must-have all year long.
Here are a few items you need in your prep area at all times:
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Whether you’re considering a full upgrade to your office kitchen or just rearranging what you have, be strategic about the general layout of the area. Your kitchen should feel accessible, welcoming, and a place where employees feel comfortable taking their breaks.
Have multiple tables in the office kitchen with different numbers of chairs scattered around. Tables and chairs should be situated toward the centre of the room, away from counters. Don’t crowd the area, but try to have plenty of places to sit.
You want to be sure to have comfortable seating in the kitchen area because eating at your work station is unsanitary. It’s also important to encourage employees to take a break, move around, and get away from their desks at intervals throughout the day. If you have a well-thought-out kitchen area, they’re more likely to step away from work for a few minutes and enjoy a break.
If you have limited space in your office kitchen, consider tucking an extra table in the corner with only two chairs instead of four. Choose chairs that can be tucked completely under the table to increase walking space.
People typically linger near doorways, so avoid placing any core appliances (fridge, microwave, coffee machine) in front of or beside doors if possible. Core prep stations and high-traffic appliances should be kept away from high-traffic areas and places where employees tend to congregate.
If you’re going to make your office kitchen a major focal point and gathering place for the employees on your team, then you’ll want to make sure you keep your snacks and drinks fully stocked at all times.
A perk of working in-office is having access to food and drinks to keep teammates fuelled and on their A-game throughout the day. Keep snacks accessible and on display so everyone can see them, such as in a basket on the counter or near the entrance to the kitchen.
If you have two refrigerators in your kitchen, consider keeping communal items (like drinks and snacks) in one. Reserve the other for storing employees’ lunches. If you only have one refrigerator but have the budget, it might be a good investment to add a second.
Some fantastic snacks and drinks to keep on hand include:
If you need help keeping your office kitchen stocked with snacks and drinks, Hoppier can help you automate this task. We offer an affordable, convenient, healthy snack subscription service that streamlines your snack-ordering process and saves you time and money. We even offer plenty of organic and gluten-free options for people who need to be conscious of their food choices.
Not sure what your team members want? Hoppier gives you the option for your team to request the products they love most.
You’ll also want to make sure you keep your equipment stocked and ready. Hoppier offers dispensers for bulk snacks if you need to add dispensing equipment to your kitchen.
When you stock your office kitchen, be sure to remember the basic items that every kitchen needs. The goal is to help your employees feel comfortable and provided for in this space, so make a careful sweep of the area and take note of the things you don’t currently provide.
Here are some basic items that should be in your office kitchen:
Keeping the office kitchen clean is just as important as keeping it well-stocked. Make sure you have plenty of cleaning products and supplies to make cleaning up easy.
Keep an all-purpose cleaner that won’t set off those who are sensitive to scents and perfumes--Puracy is a great option. Paper towels allow people to easily wipe up their spills. Additionally, require that office dishes be washed immediately after use instead of being left in the sink.
Know who will be cleaning the kitchen regularly. Will that be the office manager’s job, or will team members take turns? Will you hire a janitorial service?
Make sure you keep the office kitchen fairly clutter-free to help maintain cleanliness. If your kitchen area is filthy, your employees won’t want to spend time there.
When designed comfortably and effectively--and when well-stocked--an office kitchen can be a place where you bring people together. Providing snacks and drinks in a comfortable, clean area where your employees can congregate is a fantastic strategy for boosting morale and encouraging your team to get to know one another better.
If you’re looking for a convenient, time-saving way to keep your office kitchen stocked, Hoppier can help! Take a look at our subscription options here.
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