There is a reason so many of the best-known, most desirable companies to work for have fantastic break rooms. Companies invested in their staff and invested in making their teams feel cared about and safe to realize the power of a break room. While other businesses have no break room or an institutional afterthought, smart companies invest in their break room. A great break room benefits productivity and well-being.
The truth is that even if work is enjoyable for every employee, they cannot do it for hours without a break. Scarfing down lunch at a desk, never having a place to socialize with colleagues, or feeling trapped in a cubicle will not help your staff feel good, safe, or valued. Luckily, all you have to do is a bit of break room transformation. And we are here to help!
Understanding the Function of a Break Room
A break room, of course, is supposed to be a place where employees can take their mandated time away from the grind of the job. In today’s modern workplace, however, they can be a whole lot more. A well-appointed and comfortable break room acts as a place to get away from workplace stress, recharge, and take a breather. When employees can come into a comfortable, neutral area and have a healthy snack or a chat with a friendly colleague, they can go back to work feeling better equipped.
An inviting break room is also a way to encourage connections between employees. When everyone is working individually, or even in small teams, it’s harder to interact meaningfully. By creating a shared space that everyone enjoys and is open to all, you show your staff you care about their connection. By creating a great break room, you show your staff that it’s not only okay to take a break but that recharging and maintaining connections is encouraged. It’s wise to build this kind of philosophy into your workplace culture.
What Makes a Good Break Room
A break room that helps staff feel good comes down to two things. The first is the room and environment itself. The second is what they can access in the break room.
The break room should be in as much of a central area as possible, offering equal opportunity for various staff to use it. It should be a place where a bit of noise, chatting, and laughter is okay, without employees having to worry about getting scolded for interrupting other business. If there are quieter zones of the workplace, try to keep the break room away from there.
It should be a room with as much natural light as possible. Avoid harsh overhead lighting at the very least. Employees, and the employer, should work to keep it clean and open, so it is as welcoming a space as possible every time someone needs a break.
And, moving on to the break room’s facilities, it needs to be clearly different from a standard conference room. The idea is to make sure you set it apart as a place to get a change of scenery. That means your break room would benefit from recreation and refreshment.
You have probably heard of companies with break room perks that include things like pool tables, arcade games, or foosball. The idea is to avoid technology, such as video games, because most workers are already immersed in tech for the better part of the day. Some companies provide features like nap rooms or privacy pods for employees who need a quick rest without leaving the facilities.
As for refreshments, there’s nothing better than a healthy, delicious snack or a warm, comforting beverage. These are also great ways to pull employees into the break room. Encourage staff to take those much-needed breaks and engage with colleagues. Avoid the generic vending machine, however, focusing on the high-quality, local food and beverages that give people the best boost to keep them going.
Ultimately, showing your staff that you care about their safety, health, and well-being will pay off in the long run. You will find it easier to attract and retain employees, and enjoy greater productivity from your staff. You may even see a reduction in health care costs as staff take better care of themselves with your help! For a sample of how we can help you design and stock your break room, get in touch with us.