4 Tips for Creating a Functional and Comfortable Office Pantry
Are you used to office kitchens being bare, lackluster spaces without much more than an old coffeemaker and a few chairs? Do you find that you and your coworkers rarely spend time in your current office pantry? If so, it may be high time to give the space a much-needed makeover.
Office pantries are important parts of company culture because they give employees a place to gather, mingle, and take necessary breaks from their daily tasks.
A clean, well-stocked, and pleasant office pantry where people actually want to spend time can greatly improve employee satisfaction. And happy employees ultimately lead to more efficient operations, lower turnover rates, and a generally more productive office.
If you’re currently stuck on how to transform your office pantry into a more comfortable, appealing space, the following tips can help you out:
Evaluate What You Already Have
Begin your office pantry revamp by taking a good, long look at your kitchen design as it currently is and assessing what needs to be done. Will you be renovating the space, for example, or simply improving on what’s already there? Once you know what you’re working with, you can examine the following areas more closely:
Cabinets and Storage
Do you have sufficient storage space in your kitchen for all the necessary supplies and equipment? If not, installing wall shelves or purchasing counter organizers may help you improve your office pantry’s storage capacity.
You may also want to consider adding a bar or a floating island to your office kitchen if you have a flexible budget. This will give you more countertop space and additional cabinets to work with.
The fridge is one of the most important fixtures in any office pantry, so you’ll want to ensure that it’s sufficiently sized for your office’s needs.
Your office fridge also needs to be clean, well-maintained, and functional. If your workplace has an older fridge that’s starting to break down, for instance, you’ll definitely want to consider replacing it with a newer model.
Also, consider what other appliances you might need to add or replace, depending on the requirements of your coworkers. If most of your colleagues bring lunch from home and need to reheat their meals you may want to look up a good microwave oven price so you can add one to your pantry.
Hot and cold water dispensers and coffeemakers are other examples of helpful appliances for office spaces.
You’ll want to ensure that the sink in your office pantry is spacious enough to wash dishes in and that the faucets and drains work properly. You should also include a drying rack and plenty of cleaning supplies near your sink area to make dishwashing a hassle-free experience for everyone.
Your office pantry is a place your coworkers should want to visit to relax, so comfortable seating is a must.
If your kitchen space already has a bar or island, you can start by adding quality stools for this purpose. Otherwise, you’ll probably want to bring in good tables and chairs that employees can sit at during breaks.
Develop a Strategic Layout
It’s important to put a lot of thought into your office pantry’s layout, as this is key to creating a comfortable, welcoming break space for employees. As mentioned above, plenty of comfortable seating is essential to encourage coworkers to eat in the pantry rather than at their workstations.
If you’re working with limited space, go for chairs that can be tucked fully under the table so that there’s enough room to walk and move around in.
One important tip is to keep food prep areas and frequently used appliances away from eating areas and other parts of the kitchen that are likely to be crowded. Core appliances like fridges and microwaves are best placed away from the door, so users don’t block entry and exit points.
Provide the Basics
When stocking your office pantry, start with basic items that you’ll find in every well-stocked kitchen. Knowing that these things are ready and easily accessible for use will make your coworkers feel much more comfortable and cared for. The following items are essential basics you’ll definitely want to have in your office pantry:
- Paper towels
- Table napkins
- Cleaning and drying cloths
- Hand soap
- Dish soap
- Trash bags and bins
- Plates and bowls (reusable or disposable)
- Drinking cups or glasses
Stock Up on Snacks and Drinks Regularly
Ready access to food and drinks can keep employee morale high throughout the workday. Hence, you’ll want to ensure your kitchen is well-stocked with snacks and beverages. You’ll also want to store your snacks in a basket on the kitchen counter or near the pantry entrance for easy access.
What snacks and drinks you stock will depend on your office budget, employees’ preferences, and dietary restrictions, but some good food and beverage items to keep on-hand include:
- Snack bars
- Dried or fresh fruit
- Cookies and biscuits
- Coffee and tea
Your office kitchen shouldn’t just be an afterthought. At its best, a functional and comfortable office pantry can bring people together and make them feel rejuvenated during a long workday. Making an effort to turn your workplace’s kitchen space into a place where employees can enjoy meals, mingle, and unwind is a great way to boost your office morale.