Recent studies have revealed that the addition of an office kitchen can ensure happier, more productive employees. In part, this is because having a kitchen on board makes it more likely that your team members will take a break. And, the assurance of regular breaks throughout the working day can make a huge difference to staff concentration and outcomes overall.
Despite obvious benefits, the office kitchen is a relatively new addition and has transformed almost beyond recognition in recent years as employee expectations grow. Whether you’re looking to improve a bog-standard office kitchen setup that has a microwave and not much else, or you’re introducing a kitchen, enjoying the potential productivity benefits on offer requires you to ask crucial design questions like the following.
What you can expect in this article:
Is your office kitchen safe?
Employees will be preparing food in your office kitchen, so safety is every part as important as it would be in, say, a professional kitchen. Considering office buildings aren’t always designed towards kitchen functions, you especially need to make sure of things like fresh, drinkable water, which can be achieved without a complete plumbing overhaul with the help of packaged pump systems. You should also consider the safety of things within your kitchen, including colour-coded chopping boards where required, as well as training for any equipment provided, including cleaning equipment and kitchen machinery such as microwaves or hot drinks machines.
What should you provide?
The degree to which your office kitchen boosts employee well-being will largely come down to what you put inside it. You simply won’t see a huge improvement if you stick a microwave on top of a kitchen counter and call it a day! Instead, you should include extras that offer true value, including free healthy snacks, a selection of beverages, and equipment like a fridge, microwave, and drinks machine. While these may cost a little upfront, they can each help staff to stay refreshed, healthy, and incentivised, leading to a return in no time.
Are staff comfortable using it?
Issues including a lack of knowledge about what’s on offer, as well as a generally cold and unwelcoming kitchen setup, can leave you with a staff kitchen that no one uses. And, if no one’s using the space, then you’ll never feel its benefits. As well as training your staff up so that they know exactly what that kitchen has to offer, you can overcome this by simply making the space look welcoming. Forget the weird-smelling microwaves of old-school office staff rooms. You should aim to maintain a fresh, regularly cleaned kitchen that includes fun pops of colour, welcoming additions like house plants, and even something like a television set or radio that makes it more worthwhile for people to spend time here and use the facilities on offer.
Introducing a staff kitchen can feel like an unnecessary expense. But, trust us when we say that this is a workplace bonus, and an opportunity for significant returns, that your business should be hungry for.
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