13 December 2023

10 Ways to Improve Your Break Room Etiquette at Work

By Ronald Smith

Let’s talk about break room etiquette at your small business. It’s important to create a pleasant and respectful environment for everyone. Here are ten helpful tips to make the break room experience better for everyone:

1. Respect Personal Space: When you’re in the break room, be mindful of other people’s personal space. Avoid hovering, and give them the privacy they need.

2. Clean Up After Yourself: A clean break room is a happy break room! Remember to clean up after yourself and leave the space tidy for the next person. Don’t forget to wash your dishes and put them away.

3. Be Mindful of Noise: Keep in mind that others may be trying to relax or have a quiet moment. So, avoid loud conversations, blasting music, or making unnecessary noise in the break room.

4. Share the Microwave: We all need to warm up our meals, so try to be considerate and share the microwave. Be mindful of others waiting, and don’t let your food explode, causing a mess!

5. Respect Refrigerator Space: The break room fridge can get crowded quickly. Be respectful and only take up the space you need. Remember to label your food and clean out expired items regularly.

6. Enjoy Your Meal, Avoid Odors: While you should enjoy your food, try to avoid smelly meals that might bother others. Strong odors can be unpleasant to those who are sensitive to them.

7. Follow Time Limits: Break times are important, so be mindful of the time you spend in the break room. Avoid overstaying your break and respect others who are waiting for their turn.

8. Be Inclusive: The break room is a place for everyone to relax, regardless of their role or position. Include your colleagues in conversations and help create a friendly atmosphere.

9. Be Mindful of Special Diets: Everyone has different dietary needs or restrictions. Be mindful of this when sharing food or planning any office events that involve food.

10. Report Maintenance Issues: If you notice any problems in the break room, such as broken appliances or cleanliness issues, report them to the appropriate person to ensure a well-maintained environment for everyone.

By following these tips, I can create a comfortable and respectful break room environment for myself and my colleagues. Let’s make our small business a great place to take a break!

10 Ways to Improve Your Break Room Etiquette at Work

Let’s talk about the importance of having a welcoming break room for your employees. You know, a place where they can relax, enjoy a cup of coffee or a quick lunch, and just recharge their batteries. It’s all about keeping them happy and boosting morale.

But here’s the thing – if your break room is full of gross food, dirty dishes, and inconsiderate co-workers, no one will even want to step foot in there. And that’s not good for anyone.

That’s why it’s crucial for you to think about break room etiquette for your small business. By setting a few simple rules and policies, you can transform your break room into a pleasant oasis for your entire team. Let’s go over some important things to consider when creating those policies.

Break Room Etiquette

Establish a Noise Policy

When it comes to the break room, people have different preferences. Some like to unwind and relax, while others enjoy engaging in conversations with their colleagues. That’s why it’s important to establish a noise policy for the break room. You can choose to make it a quiet space or a place for conversations. Alternatively, you can designate separate areas for talking and for employees who simply want to take a break. The key is to make sure that everyone understands the expectations and knows how to behave.

Maintain Hygiene

When it comes to keeping the break room clean, it’s important to set some rules. I want you to know that it’s expected for you to clean up after yourself, even if it may seem obvious. Sometimes, we can forget about old items in the refrigerator. But if we all know exactly what tasks we need to do, then the break room can be a much nicer and cleaner space for all of us.

Remember to Label Your Food

Another good practice is to label any food items you want to keep in the fridge or any common areas of the break room. If we don’t do this, others might assume it’s something to share. So by labeling our food, we can avoid a lot of conflict among us.

Avoid Talking about Work

When you step into the break room, it’s supposed to be a place to unwind and take a breather from work. That means no bringing work-related tasks into this space. If someone is on a break or enjoying their lunch, they shouldn’t be interrupted with work-related inquiries. To make this clear, simply ask your fellow team members to hold their questions or send them through email, so they can address them after their break is over.

When you’re finished using the break room, there are some tasks that I believe each of us should take responsibility for, such as throwing away our own food. However, there are other tasks, like cleaning out the refrigerator or scrubbing the microwave, that don’t need to be done every day. Since I know that all of us use these items, we should find a fair way to distribute these tasks among ourselves, like creating a list or using a chore wheel.

Let’s Be Realistic

While it’s important to establish specific rules for our employee break room, we shouldn’t expect too much from each other. If I were to ask everyone to be completely silent or clean the fridge every single day, it’s unlikely that anyone would want to use the break room at all. So let’s make sure that the expectations we have for each other in terms of etiquette are actually reasonable.

What Do You Think?

If you want to know what your employees think is fair and what they want from their co-workers, the best thing to do is simply talk to them. Ask about the things that annoy them or what they would like to see changed in the break room. This feedback can then be used to shape your rules.

Be Thoughtful

Above all, it’s important that your employees show thoughtfulness towards others when using the break room. Things like cooking smelly food or talking loudly on the phone can ruin the space for everyone else. So, remind them to think about how their actions affect their colleagues and ask them to be considerate when using the break room.

Set Clear Expectations