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Does the kitchen have a role to play in company culture?

office kitchen divide

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home. As a communal space, the focus on cooking, preparing and eating food creates an emotional connection to it. How then, does this feel extend to offices that have staff kitchens?

Every office, from law firms to tech startups and trade businesses, have their own culture. In order to create a workspace that employees enjoy, many, if not all of these businesses, will have staff kitchens or canteens. By providing snacks and drinks, like tea and coffee, they are looking to foster positive feelings. Happy workers work harder for the businesses after all.

If kitchens are communal spaces, key to building relationships and socialising in the home, they must also have a similar effect on staff in the workplace.

Why company culture matters

Nowadays, “companies ignore their culture at their peril. Your businesses’ unique culture is what sets you apart from rivals. It’s what turns employees into strong advocates for the business and sets you apart from rivals. If a business has a positive culture, then the employees are likely to be more productive and more committed to the company’s success.

Culture is made in the physical space”, a good kitchen “can be a nexus for the nourishing of corporate culture,” encouraging “boundaries of hierarchy to dissolve and staffers to engage naturally.” A casual conversation over lunch can do wonders for workplace bonding, but the kitchen has to be inviting enough to entice workers to stay first.

Better kitchens, better culture

Shared kitchens can quickly become a mess, getting dirty with dishes and crumbs, especially when cleaning responsibility is not clear. While creating a rota for cleaning can be helpful in an office kitchen, it’s preferable to create a culture where everyone clears up after themselves.

One way to do this is by making it look attractive, stylish and like something worth keeping in good condition. Materials like quartz, which are non-porous are hugely beneficial in communal environment as this makes it more hygienic. Additionally, they are easy to clean and look great.

Other kitchen worktop materials, like linoleum, are cheap options but can be damaged or torn easily. This can easily spiral, creating a staff kitchen that no-one wants to be a part of or use.

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