Friday

Day 17 - We Have An Office Kitchen

I was standing in it this morning and it occurred to me how strange that is. It’s not like we have a room with a table and a refrigerator in it; we have a stove and microwave, a full size sink and cupboards full of food. This is a place of business, not a cafeteria. For the most part, no one is eating breakfast or dinner here. No one is cooking huge meals. And despite all of that, when someone built this office building, they were sure to include a full kitchen.

In an earlier post, I commented on how this experiment made me think about food differently, and how it made me see that food is often far less about sustenance and far more about the social and psychological aspect of our day.

The kitchen serves no meaningful business purpose, but it is where you can find people casually milling about and drinking a cup of coffee. It’s where (through sheer force of will) people sing happy birthday when appropriate. It’s where we cook special lunches on big holidays. It’s where you can just sit and read a newspaper without being heckled when you should probably be doing work. It’s the most comfortable room of the office.

5 Comments:

Anonymous jamesey said...

I think a kitchen does have business significance. It is cheaper to have employees stay in and heat up their meals rather than waste time by going out to sit down and have a meal. If employees go out, they may be out for more than their allotted time for lunch. This is why a lot of big company headquarters have cafeterias on site.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been working with NGOs in Thailand for a while. Every office has a kitchen, and it's great. The bigger offices have someone who comes in every day and makes lunch; at the smaller ones, people cook their own food at noon (and often breakfast and dinner too). It's communal and friendly, creates a nice pause in the day, and as a non-Thai-cook, I've been able to watch the preparation of - and fill my stomach with - some of the best food in my life.

P.S. Even when I eat out instead of in the office, I still spend about $1/day on meals.

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The kitchen serves no meaningful business purpose, but it is where you can find people casually milling about and drinking a cup of coffee."

Well, according to adminstrational theory, what you said in the second part of that sentence IS a meaningful business purpose.
The internal cultural/social relations of a business should not be underestimated, and kitchens or other non-work areas help strengthen these relation

4:03 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Anonymous said...

"I've been working with NGOs in Thailand for a while...
P.S. Even when I eat out instead of in the office, I still spend about $1/day on meals."

That's because of the exchange rate, not necessarily cheapness.

7:42 AM  
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6:46 AM  

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