Past studies and research suggests that having a fully stocked kitchen complete with healthy snacks, tea, coffee, fresh office fruit and amenities can lead to a much more productive and happy workforce. This makes sense for a number of reasons. If staff have everything they need right there in the building, courtesy of the company, they’ll feel well looked after not just in regards to their health and wellbeing, but also their time and money – they can forget about having to leave the office and go to a cafe every time they need a pick-me-up.
The office kitchen is also more than just a place to make coffee, tea or lunch. It can serve as a place to hold spontaneous meetings, somewhere to escape from the computer screen, boost energy levels and bond with colleagues. In other words, it’s an area that can help improve workplace satisfaction and camaraderie.
If you’re looking to improve the state of your business's kitchen where should you start? And how can you make sure it’s not an expensive endeavour? We’ve got some tips on how to stock-up the kitchen without blowing your budget.
If you haven’t already got one, the first thing you should purchase is a first aid kit. Accidents can happen, so protect your employees from the occasional cut and graze by keeping one or two in the kitchen, in a central location, so all employees can locate it easily.
There’s nothing worse than making lunch in the office and realising there are no forks to eat it with! Most staff will expect to find an array of ‘tools’ — cutlery (knives/forks/spoons), plates, bowls, glasses and coffee mugs (at least) at their disposal.
If you want to go a step further, investing in appliances such as a coffee machine, toaster, a sandwich press and a microwave will allow staff to make substantial meals in the office kitchen and help them save a considerable amount of money in the long run.
When it comes to purchasing any of the above, make sure you speak to an expert in the catering field who can advise you on the brands that are economical but reliable. And, remember that buying everything outright will save you the ongoing cost of rental fees.
We’ve already talked about the benefits of healthy snacks, such as fruit for the office, but don’t forget that lots of people have a sweet tooth and will hugely appreciate being able to dip into a cookie or lolly jar come 3pm.
What else should there be on hand? Salt, pepper and a few other condiments, such as ketchup and mustard for starters. Butter and spreads are great if people want to make toast in the morning, and finally, some filling snacks like granola bars or trail mix will go down well. Make sure you’re well stocked up on tea, coffee, hot chocolate and office milk, plus some cold drink alternatives to water. Soft drinks are a relatively low-cost item, as are fruit juices. And don’t forget the weekly office alcohol delivery order for those all-important Friday afternoon bevvies.
If you shop for these items in bulk, you are more likely to save a bit of money but you can talk to your supplier about getting a good deal on individual items.
It’s a good idea to offer a broad assortment of cleaning supplies that employees can freely use to keep the kitchen and their personal work spaces clean and germ-free.
Having multi-purpose cleaning wipes, air fresheners, rubber gloves, cloths, sponges and disinfectant sprays on hand will show you are leading by example and it encourages people to clean up after themselves. Last but not least, don’t forget the paper towels – these are essential for spillages, avoiding nasty accidents and generally keeping the working environment clean and hygienic. Again, ordering these products in bulk will help you cut costs.
Continuing with the theme of cleanliness, it’s important to make sure staff have multiple bins in which to put rubbish and keep surfaces clutter-free. Most employees will be eco-conscious to some extent, so supply recycling bins – or if you want to go a step further, you can improve your entire waste process by having separate bins for rubbish, recyclables and food or organics.
For all your office kitchen supplies, speak to Order-In today and find out how we can help you keep your kitchen fully stocked.