Final Word

With Ron Beal, Director of Office Products & Wholesale Channel, Kimberly-Clark Professional


Breakroom is here to stay. As OPI pointed out in a March 2013 article, it’s a category that’s delivering multimillion and, in some cases, billion dollar annual revenues with “significant potential for growth across the OP spectrum”. 

There are many reasons why. Chief among them: It’s the “heart” of the office – the go-to location for employees when they need a rest, a cup of coffee, something to eat.

As companies expand and staff work longer hours, the breakroom is the ideal place for an employer to ‘give back’ and allow employees to take a break, have a snack or their lunch in a clean and hygienic, well-stocked area.

So it’s essential that employers make sure the breakroom is a warm and inviting space and, above all, clean and hygienic. 

That means providing employees with the tools and knowledge they need to adopt good hand hygiene and surface sanitation practices. If not, the breakroom can end up being the germiest place in an office.

According to a 2012 Kimberly-Clark Professional study, the place where US workers eat and prepare their lunch topped the list of office germ hot spots, with sink and microwave door handles found to be the dirtiest surfaces touched by office workers on a daily basis.

However, there are ways to combat workplace germs and office product suppliers can help. How? By encouraging businesses to educate employees about how germs are spread and then providing them with solutions to break the chain of germ transmission. In doing so, we can help them create exceptional workplaces that are healthier, safer and more productive. 

Some easy steps include:

  • placing disinfecting wipes in kitchens
  • providing employees with easy access to hand sanitisers
  • offering plenty of paper towels – since drying with a paper towel can reduce the spread of germs on hands by up to 77% – as well as soap and facial tissue
  • educating employees about the importance of hand and surface hygiene

The last bit is important and why we encourage everyone to adopt the ‘HYGIENIFY’ protocol – wash, wipe, sanitise – three steps proven to reduce the spread of
 cold and flu germs in the workplace by 80%. This
 reduction in probability of infection is based upon mathematical modeling referenced in the Workplace Wellness Intervention Study.

At Kimberly-Clark Professional, we manufacture breakroom products that fall into about seven different product categories.

These include Kleenex brand facial tissue, Kleenex and Scott brand paper towels and bathroom tissue, Kleenex brand soaps and hand sanitisers, and heavy-duty Wypall brand wipes for tough cleaning jobs.

We also offer compact, hands-free solutions for the restroom to provide a clean and hygienic space for everyone. Our high-capacity towel, bathroom tissue and soap systems can help turn breakrooms and offices into exceptional workplaces that help keep employees healthier, safer and more productive.

By helping office products customers protect their most important assets – their employees – companies can help their businesses grow and thrive. And, remember, the breakroom is an entry point that can lead to many other sales opportunities within an office. So help your customers keep it as clean and hygienic as possible. It will pay off for them as well as for you.

Ron Beal is Director of Office Products & Wholesale Channel with Kimberly-Clark Professional, based in Roswell, US. Kimberly-Clark Professional partners with businesses to create exceptional workplaces, helping to make them healthier, safer and more productive.