Facilities management
Ana Gotter
January 17, 2020
7 min

How to Set Up An Office Kitchen Your Team Will Love 

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How to Set Up An Office Kitchen Your Team Will Love 

Ana Gotter
March 6, 2020
Top Tips For Creating an Office Kitchen Your Team Will Love | Hoppier

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. 

Image source: Giphy

So what’s the best way to set up your office kitchen? Let’s dive in.

Look At What You’re Working With 

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.

Cabinets

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. 

Wooden hanging shelves used for extra storage in an office kitchen.
Get these floating shelves from Ikea.

Refrigerator

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. 

Dishwasher

Does your office kitchen have a dishwasher? If not, is there a sink where employees can wash their dishes? 

Sink

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!

Seating area

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. 

Kitchen with three wooden bar stools at a wooden table with apples on it and a fridge in the background.
Small office kitchen? A small seating area is better than no seating at all!
Image source: Pinterest

Coffee maker and supplies

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.

Dishes

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. 

Set of blue plates and bowls from Ikea to keep in the office kitchen.
Looking for an affordable dish set for your office kitchen? Check out this Ikea option.

Water cooler

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.

Have a “Prep” Area 

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. 

swedish chef from the muppets doing dance behind a kitchen preparatory area with kitchen utensils hanging above
Image source: Giphy

Here are a few items you need in your prep area at all times: 

  • Food covers you can encourage employees to use--especially to protect team members with allergies.
  • Paper towels for easy, quick clean-up.
  • A dish rack next to the sink with a washable or silicone mat underneath it, where employees can dry the dishes they wash at the sink.
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Be Strategic About The General Layout 

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.

Office kitchen environment with long cafeteria style tables with a group of employees in the backgorunfd
Image source: mashable.com

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. 

Keep Your Snacks & Drinks Fully Stocked

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. 

clean and organized office kitchen with fruit bowls on the counter and plants hanging from ceiling
Image source: officelovin.com

Some fantastic snacks and drinks to keep on hand include:

  • A variety of snack bars (protein, granola, fruit & nut, etc.)
  • Chips
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruits
  • Fresh fruit (bananas, apples)
  • Oatmeal packets
  • Cookies
  • Candies
  • Popcorn
  • Sparkling water
  • Soft drinks
  • Juice

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.

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Don’t Forget The Basics 

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.

hoppy looking content with his eyes closed and hearts hovering around him.

Here are some basic items that should be in your office kitchen: 

  • Salt and pepper
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Paper bowls and plates
  • Cleaning cloths 
  • Sponges
  • Dish soap
  • Hand soap
  • Food storage containers
  • Bins and bags for trash, recycling, and composting
  • Trash bags
  • Toothpicks
  • Non-plastic, compostable straws
  • Silverware
  • A variety of condiments and hot sauces
  • Serving platters
  • Serving spoons, tongs, and forks
  • Pizza cutter
  • Bread knife
  • Oven mitts
  • Trivet

Stock The Kitchen So It Can Be Kept Clean 

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. 

Conclusion 

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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