The office break room is easily one of the most used rooms in any office. It's used by pretty much every employee several times a day. From morning coffee, to eating lunch and hosting office pot lucks, break rooms are a central gathering place. Being such a high use area it's not surprising that break rooms can also become one of the nastiest rooms in a common office.
Your commercial cleaning company may clean at night, but unless your business has a day porter it's up to your employees to keep the area tidy during the day. And it's important for employees to take ownership of certain tasks like removing old food from the refrigerator that the commercial cleaning may not be tasked to perform.
In addition to the messes that we can see, there are the bacteria and germs that we can't. But those germs and bacteria can make us sick which could lead to employees using more sick days. Keeping a tidy break room will also help your commercial cleaning company to do a more thorough cleaning each service, which will further reduce the presence of bacteria and germs. Since no one wants to use a dirty break room, we've complied a list of five easy tips to keep your office break room yuck free. Getting your employees to adopt these habits will create a healthier, cleaner environment for all employees to enjoy.
Clean Out the Refrigerator Weekly
Are there science projects growing in the break room refrigerator? Unless cleaning out the fridge and throwing out old food is part of your commercial cleaning contract, this task is completely up to your employees. Old lunches that have been forgotten in the refrigerator mold and start to stink. In addition to producing a foul smell, the extra containers take up space in the fridge causing over crowding which can lead to food not being cooled properly. Setting a schedule to clean and purge the break room refrigerator weekly, eliminates rotten food odors and ensures their is adequate space for food storage.
Use Plate Covers in the Microwave
Having a microwave in the break room is an expected convenience. However reheating food like spaghetti and soup in the microwave can cause messes from food splatter. These are easy to clean up when they happen, but once dried you get the yuck factor. Especially when this happens over and over several times a days for weeks. Prevention is the best way to stop the inside of the microwave from becoming covered with dried on baked on food.
Don't Throw Liquids in the Trash Can
Trash can liners are best for holding solid items. Even the thickest of trash can liners can rip and if there is liquid in the bag, it's now in the bottom of your trash can. Unless cleaning out the inside of trash can is part of the commercial cleaning contract, that pool of liquid turns into a bunch of grossness that can smell very bad. Again, prevention is key. By simply pouring out unfinished coffee, soft drinks and juices down the sink instead of dropping them in the trash can, will keep the insides of your trash cans clean, reducing garbage stink. An added bonus is that there will be fewer spots on your carpets from leaking trash bags. If there are no liquids in your trash cans there can be no spills or leaks.
Avoid Using Sponges
Sponges are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Using sponges simply transfers those germs and bacteria to whatever you wiped with them. This could be counter tops tables or dishes like your coffee cup. Yep, gross. A better alternative is to use dish towels that you dispose of every day. There are a wide variety of disposable dish and kitchen towels available. These are great choice to eliminate breeding and spreading germs while still being able to wash dishes and clean up counters or tables.
Disposable kitchen and dish towels available on Amazon
Clean Up Personal Messes
Who's job is it to clean up spilled coffee, wash dishes and get spilled food off the break room tables? The employee who made the mess. Unless you have a day porter those spills will be there until the next time you have a nightly cleaning done. Left uncleaned, this creates a dirty environment for other employees to use behind them. Encourage your employees to make sure they take a few moments to clean up behind themselves as if they were at home.
Also inform your staff of tasks that your commercial cleaning company is contracted to perform. This includes what the cleaning are supposed clean, what they do not clean and how often they clean. Leaving a mess when you have nightly cleaning is less of a problem than if the office cleaned less frequently. With less frequency that means a mess could be there for days before being cleaned by your commercial cleaning company.
These few simple actions can create a healthy, clean environment that all employees can enjoy throughout the day. To receive more practical facility maintenance and office management tips, join or email list. You'll be the first to know about workshops and events that are hosted just for our email list. Join today.
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