The Office Courtesy Series: How to Keep Coffee Areas Clean

| March 16, 2017

When you experience the three o’clock slump in your workday and you don’t want to spend five dollars on Starbucks, a trip to the office coffee maker is just plain necessary. But when the  grounds or creamers are depleted, workplace tension can boil over and brewing areas can become battle grounds. The same employees are continually harassed about ordering new coffee, big brown stains litter the counters, and  grinds are splattered near the machine. Clearly, a code of conduct is needed for the communal cup of joe.

A funny and all-too-true cartoon about coffee withdrawal at work.

A funny and all-too-true cartoon about coffee withdrawal at work.

American workers love their caffeine! A survey by CareerBuilder and Dunkin Donuts revealed the following statistics:

  • 43 percent of coffee drinkers say they’re less productive without a cup of coffee on the job.
  • 37 percent of workers drink at least two cups during their workday.
  • 40 percent of workers aged 18 to 24 say they struggle to concentrate without coffee.
Coffee cup

43 percent of American workers say they’re less productive without a cup of coffee.

Let’s face it: if one person (apart from any office managers at hand) is the only go-to person for all  housekeeping needs, he or she is bound to get resentful. They may be ineffectual, or simply stop doing it. Given the importance of caffeine, a collaborative effort is necessary to keep workers happy and the communal property clean. But how do you foster participation?

Remember chore charts from camp or college? A makeshift chore wheel or chart is an easy and attention-grabbing way to organize office-cleaning duties. A chore chart could be made especially for these duties; either hand-drawn or digitally; we suggest trying with a Google Doc.

Residue from water and brewing builds up over time. Make sure everyone knows how to properly clean a coffee machine.  Posting an instructional guide could be helpful. You can create your own, or just post the following.

A permanent, visual enforcement is an excellent respite from the alternate reminder method: nagging until you’re blue in the face. Some tips for cleaning the machine:

Coffee Maker

Once a month, try to clean the coffee maker for the benefit of everyone around you.

  • Once  a month, fill the water reservoir with a mixture: 50 percent distilled white vinegar and 50 percent water.
  • Turn on the coffeemaker.
  • Let the mixture fill up the pot, turn it off, and let it sit for an hour.
  • Start the machine again to complete the cycle, discarding the vinegar mixture afterward.
  • Rinse the machine a few times until the vinegar odor disappears.
  • To clean the carafe and filter basket, place in the top rack of the dishwasher.

It’s only fair that those who drink coffee clean up too. Create a system that has everyone contributing the office’s  needs.

Coffee Courtesy Sign

A sign reminds coffee drinkers to keep areas clean

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Category: Office courtesy

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