8 Breakroom Rules to Live By

When it comes to breakrooms, there are certain things that go without saying. If you’re new to the workforce or a company, between possibly adjusting to your new commute (we can relate to Detroit, Michigan traffic), pleasing your new boss, and more, breakroom etiquette is likely one of the last things on your mind. We hate to break it to you but breakroom etiquette is super important. The breakroom is a communal space and in many offices, it’s the only space employees have access to a refrigerator. Contribute to the overall harmony around the office by following these rules.

  1. Clean up after yourself. Did you dirty a dish? How about make a sandwich that left crumbs on the counter? Get your dish cleaned, dried, and back where it belongs. Wipe the counter down to keep bugs at bay and not annoy your co-workers. Ask the decision makers at your company to order some cleaning supplies so you and your co-workers won’t have any reasons to not keep the breakroom clean. Cleaning up after yourself extends to:
    • Throwing out old food in the refrigerator.
    • Cleaning your food out of the sink.
    • Wiping messes from floors, and more.
  2. Leave the work talk outside the breakroom. A lot of people consider the breakroom as a place to relax and unwind. If you need to ask a co-worker a question about something work related, wait until they are done taking their break.
  3. Replace what you finish. Did you use the last paper towel or finish the last drop of water in the water cooler? Replace them. If you need help or don’t have access to additional breakroom supplies, let the employee who has access know.
  4. Don’t hog all the space. Since the breakroom is not just for you, don’t fill the cabinets or refrigerator up with all your things. Be mindful of others. They too need a place for their lunch, mugs, snacks, etc.
  5. If it’s not yours, don’t eat it. There’s nothing like getting excited to bite into a delicious sandwich that your spouse made you. It was made with a fresh Seminole roll, oven roasted turkey, mozzarella, and the mayo that you love so much. You had a long and exhausting morning filled with meetings. That delicious sandwich would be your mid-day sanctuary. You open the fridge and search high and low. Your sandwich is gone! The plastic bag with your name on it that held that beautiful sandwich tells you there’s a little mouse in the building. Bottom line – don’t eat someone else’s food without asking. Typically, you wouldn’t ask if you could eat or have a piece of their lunch but asking to share co-workers butter, milk, or other condiments is acceptable.
  6. Be mindful of how much information you share. Perhaps it’s Monday and you went to a party over the weekend where you had one too many drinks. The breakroom is not the best place to share such details. While you’re in the breakroom, you’re still at work so be sure to keep the details you share about your personal life, professional.
  7. Try not to burn things. Next to the smell of fish, the smell of burnt foods in the workplace tends to be undesirable to many. When you’re using the toaster, keep an eye on your food. Like your English muffin extra crispy? Wait until your day off to indulge.
  8. If you touch a treat, it’s yours. As you may have already noticed, sometimes people will bring treats in for everyone to share. If you touch a treat such as an unwrapped cookie, take it. Don’t touch food then put it back. I’m not sure about you, but I personally don’t want to eat something that someone put their fingers all over.

Did we miss any rules? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know. At Global Office Solutions, we offer everything you need for your breakroom, from cleaning supplies to condiment organizers. Contact us to purchase the products you need for your office. We serve businesses near and far, from Oakland County, Michigan to various cities in Canada.