There is a balance between giving employees everything they need to keep them happy and productive and saving money. One place this balance is rarely struck is in the office kitchen. What a business owner regards as necessary and what employees think they deserve are usually poles apart. So if you’re setting up a business or moving to a new building, here are five things your office kitchen needs.
Coffee maker and kettle
The business world thrives on good coffee, so investing in decent quality coffee and either a kettle and/or a coffee maker is more investment than cost. Having both is ideal as not everyone drinks coffee. Provide the hardware and the supplies and make sure you never run out.
In some countries, access to hot drinks is a legal requirement. In all countries it is a quality of life aspect that few people enjoy doing without. Ignore it at your peril.
Somewhere to sit
Having a table and a few chairs is something else your office kitchen needs. Staff need time away from work to recharge and rest. While you may view it as a waste of time, numerous studies have shown regular breaks away from machines or screens improves productivity, not reduces it.
Somewhere to sit also provides somewhere for staff to meet, chat and laugh. All contribute to a happy workforce.
Cutlery and crockery
Having cutlery and crockery is a must-have for any office kitchen. They don’t have to be expensive but they do have to be serviceable. You will need enough to service most of your staff if not everyone at once. The more robust the products are, the longer they will last. Knives, forks, spoons, plates and spare mugs should be considered the minimum you would need.
You will also need to consider storage and cleaning if you provide cutlery and crockery. A couple of cupboards, a sink or a dishwasher should suffice.
While it may seem astoundingly obvious, many employers forget to put a door in their kitchen area. Staff relaxing with a cup of coffee don’t want to contend with machine noises or phones ringing. Those still trying to work don’t want to hear laughter, idle chat or smell coffee either.
A kitchen door also plays a part in hygiene. The kitchen needs to be kept clean and separated from the shop floor. It can also keep food smells out of the workplace too.
Depending on the size of the business, including a dishwasher, water filter, toaster and refrigerator in your office kitchen could be beneficial. A dishwasher can be quickly loaded and unloaded. A water filter ensures everyone has access to fresh water. A toaster is a fast way to heat up a light snack and a refrigerator keeps milk and drinks cool and gives staff somewhere to store their lunch.
The more you have in your kitchen, the more there is to keep clean and you’ll, therefore, need to remind your employees to clean up after themselves. Alternatively, you could consider instigating a cleaning schedule, where each day a different employee will be responsible for clearing up the kitchen.