How to Operate an Office Kitchen and Pantry or Corporate Snack Station Safely
At Crafty, we’ve been working with our clients on adapting their location management plans in response to the changes brought about by COVID-19.
So what exactly does “location management” mean? We promise, it’s not a nonsense term.
It means there’s an art and a science to where your office snack stations are staged within your office space, especially during a global pandemic.
Within workplace design, cafes and kitchens are intentionally designed to bring people together. The idea underneath it all was that the physical space should facilitate spontaneous collisions that, as a result, will drive creativity and produce new ideas.
Boy, were we about to be confronted with why that might not be the best case scenario...enter the year 2020.
Now, with COVID-19, we’ve seen that spontaneous ideas are best shared over Zoom or Slack or shouted through a face mask from at least 6-feet away.
Looking forward, safety is paramount, and as a result, our physical spaces will need to evolve. Reducing density is becoming ever more important, and the office kitchen we previously knew to be a gathering space, will now be seen as a high-risk area.
Let’s take a small moment of silence for the loss of the lovely kitchen stop-and-chat. Now, moving forward with a stiff upper lip.
Adapting our spaces
WOF Teams ("Workplace, Office, Facilities") will look to compartmentalize their floor plans and leverage kitchenettes within their offices.
Instead of keeping all snacks, beverages, and cleaning supplies in one kitchen, we are encouraging our clients to consider creating smaller depots throughout the office to limit crowding and reduce the distance an employee needs to travel to get a cup of coffee, afternoon snack, or disinfecting wipe.
In the near term, there are creative ways to pop up kitchenettes throughout your space. At Crafty, we are utilizing our modular snack setups and non-water, line-dependent equipment to create depots throughout our clients’ spaces.
Additionally, we are working with our clients to think through seating plans in their kitchen and cafe areas to maintain capacity limitations. The area that previously accommodated 200 people may now only have room for 100 people. Overcrowding is a bummer, anyway! So, we’re getting creative. Identify alternative areas such as all-hands areas and guest seating areas to accommodate overflow volume.
We also need to re-evaluate the equipment we are using in our office kitchens. Consider updating your equipment to models that feature sensors & hands-free functionality. It’ll feel like you’re in an episode of a spaceship show!
As we eventually start to think long-term, we’ll work with our design and construction partners to build permanent redesigns of existing offices to reflect the new world we are living in.