As with any public setting, break rooms depend upon some etiquette to become the relaxing, break-worthy environment we all need (especially when “hanger” or that 2:00 feeling sets in). The rules of the break room should absolutely be common knowledge, but lets face it – common sense isn’t so common these days. So we’ll list them out!
Clean Up After Yourself. Pick up your mess. Your mother doesn’t work here so you’re on your own. Please don’t feed the dust bunnies. The microwave isn’t a war zone. This is a self-cleaning kitchen, meaning clean up after yourself. The maid is on strike … The list goes on and on. No matter how you prefer to hear it, the message is clear – clean up after yourself! It only takes one minute to wipe out the microwave or fridge and the counter tops after using them. One minute each will help keep everyone in a good mood (and might keep you from seeing passive-aggressive notes popping up everywhere).
It’s Called A Break For A Reason. Don’t bother other coworkers with work while they are on break. Don’t bother yourself with work, either! This is a time to unwind, relax, clear your mind and regather yourself before jumping back into the rest of the day.
You Empty It, You Refill It. Going to refill your water or coffee and being left with an empty cup is the worst! Don’t be the worst – if you empty something please refill it.
First Come, First Served. Everything in the break room is shared. When everyone is rushing to get to lunch at the same time it might become a little crowded. Just take a deep breath and be patient. And be courteous! Don’t take up three chairs with your stuff and your feet – if you see someone looking for a place to kick back and enjoy their moment of peace, let them.
Don’t Be A Hoarder. The refrigerator is included in that shared space. Instead of filling it up with a week’s worth of food, put your meal for the day in the fridge and then take it home with you when you leave. If the fridge is full when you get there, don’t squish someone else’s food with yours – take a minute to rearrange and find an actual space for it. Make sure to label your food with your name and the date. Although it’s nice to avoid wasting, don’t keep extra leftovers in the fridge for days or weeks at a time. Eat what you want and either bring home or throw away the rest. And for the love of all that’s good in the world, PLEASE do not steal other peoples’ food!! If you didn’t put it there, don’t take it.
Use Your Sense Of Smell. Maybe reheated seafood or burnt popcorn is your thing. Do you … at home! If you know that your food is going to smell up the break room with a long-lasting, pungent stink that will distract all of your coworkers, please save it for dinner.
Enjoy Your Break. Numerous studies have shown the major benefits of taking a break during the work day. This is your time to get away for a moment and clear your thoughts. Regrouping will make you more productive and can lead to better ideas. Most people spend a pretty significant chunk of time at work. Even if you love your work (and I hope all of you do), making time for yourself is so important! Don’t let lingering questions or thoughts take away from the time you have to recharge. Ready? Aaaaand break!
For more details, check out Food Service Warehouse.