“Unspoken Rules” of the Office Break Room

“Unspoken Rules” of the Office Break Room

We care about our workplace environment and when we leave our area is in order… great! However, what about the shared office spaces? Yes – I am talking about the “unspoken rules” of the infamous office break room.

Though rarely spoken or at times even written, following the break room rules in the office is often encouraged and welcomed. We spend so much time at work, let’s try to follow these common, and generally understood courtesy guidelines.

  1. Don’t take food that isn’t yours!

Seems very simple, but it can happen. Always an idea to label your items with your name to prevent this from happening. Grab a marker and some tape if needed.


  1. Avoid microwaving certain foods that will permeate the office.

One example of this, dependent on your break room location and ideals, would be popping a bag of popcorn. Popcorn can be known for its distinct and sharp smell, especially if the bag burns.


  1. Clean-up after yourself.

This one in ways explains itself. More often than not, you are not the only one utilizing the break room space, try to not let other’s do the cleaning for you. Inclusive: spillage in the microwave that was caused by your food.


  1. Don’t leave food for long periods of time (that spoils).

Finding molded food, we can all agree, is not a pleasant sight. It takes up room, and in extreme cases, can smell. If you don’t want it, please throw it out.


  1. Refrain from leaving your dishes in the sink.

Containers, shared office treats on trays, water bottles, and coffee mugs are some examples of items that may need a wash. Never assume someone will wash it for you, unless informed otherwise. Leaving dishes in the sink can cause a pile up.


  1. Microwaving: supervise your food.

This rule will prevent any discrepancy with cook time from causing a disaster, such as a fire. Leaving food unattended in the microwave can also prevent others from cooking their food, especially if forgotten.


  1. Take personal calls outside and listen to your music privately with headphones.

As mentioned, every office layout is different. Noise-leakage could cause a disturbance to others, and for those in the room, is not everyone’s idea of how they want to spend their break.


  1. Respect other’s space!

Be courteous, break rooms are shared spaces. Even if not utilized, they still need to be replenished when supplies are low, and a space for those who use it – comfortable and convenient.

Realistically, not all offices have a designated space for breaks. However, the concepts can apply to eating at your desk. Relax and enjoy your earned break.