Many employees are finding bare cupboards and empty coffee pots in the office kitchen (a.k.a: office kitchenette, pantry). This is forcing them to seek sustenance outside the workplace. Whether it’s to get food or beverages, US workers are frequently leaving the office to find what they’re craving. This is eating into their productivity as per the survey results from Staples Advantage.

The survey suggests that fully stocked kitchen with food, coffee and amenities leads to more content and productive employees.

The survey also suggests that over 85 million people leave the office routinely to get coffee. Respondents estimated each trip taking 20 to 40 minutes. This equates to over two billion minutes each day, or 10.6 billion hours per year, of possible lost productivity.

Google campus in Dublin, dockfood cafe / office kitchen. @peter wurmli / camenzind evolution

Google campus in Dublin, dockfood cafe / office kitchen. @peter wurmli / camenzind evolution

In order to gain back some of these hours, Staples offers 6 tips that can help create an effective office kitchen. A kitchen that gives employees a great place to recharge their batteries and encourage a more productive, happy work environment.

6 ideas for an effective office kitchen:

Provide several beverage options

Consider adding coffee, tea, flavored water, or hot chocolate to your cabinets.

Offer a wide range of snacks

People today are opting for healthier alternatives beyond cookies, crackers and donuts. In fact, a tremendous number of respondents (more than 85 percent) said they would want healthy snacks and beverages added to their office kitchen. If possible, include snack options like granola bars and trail mix.

Consider supplying the right “tools”

Survey data revealed that many employees hope to find a variety of products, including coffee cups (75 percent), forks/knives/spoons (72 percent), as well as plates and other paper products (65 percent) stocked by their company.

Supply first aid materials

Accidents happen. To protect your employees from the occasional bumps and bruises, your office first aid kit should include everything needed in case of an accident and should be kept in a central location, easily accessible to all employees. Panadol and painkillers can mean the difference between a day full of results and a day off or a sick leave.

Stay clean and healthy

Offer a broad assortment of cleaning supplies that employees can utilize to keep the office kitchen and their personal work spaces clean and germ-free.

Make the environment a priority

Supply recycling bins and “green” supplies. Protecting the environment was noted as a priority for those surveyed. 96% would like to see recycling bins in the office.

Staples Advantage conducted an online survey of office workers at nearly 200 businesses of all sizes across the US. The survey, conducted in January 2011, asked a series of questions. Those varied from breakroom habits to the overall impact of a well-stocked breakroom in today’s workplace environment.

Read also: 6 Budget Tips For Small Kitchen Remodeling

Finally, care to share your company’s office kitchen?

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