A good break room can leave a positive impression on employees. It can inspire a positive work environment, making it a worthwhile investment. And as we know, keeping employees happy at work is, business-wise, just smart. Employee satisfaction stays up, and the likelihood of drop off decreases.
But how can a good break room improve office culture? And why is it an important inclusion? That’s what we’re here to answer.
Refresh, Refuel, Recharge, Reconnect
The workplace break room represents an opportunity to take a breather. It can be a place where employees eat lunch, talk to coworkers, and return to work feeling refueled and recharged. Taking a break from work is an important part of each day. Hypothetically, if there’s a big project that needs to be completed by the end of the day, some people might find it easy to gloss over lunch in favor of completing the task.
However, skipping lunch can lead to negative consequences. In a recent Forbes article, site contributor Alan Kohll shared the worrying results of a survey conducted by Tork (a workplace personal hygiene distributor) about lunch breaks in the U.S. “Nearly 20% of North American workers worry their bosses won’t think they are hardworking if they take regular lunch breaks, while 13% worry their co-workers will judge them,” according to the survey. “38% of employees don’t feel encouraged to take a lunch break. 22% of North American bosses say that employees who take a regular lunch break are less hardworking.”
Incorporating an appealing break room into the workplace can reassure employees that not only is their work output valued, but that they are valued as individuals. This lessens the risk of facing burnout and can lead to productive work. Happy employees = positive results.
Hallmarks of a Great Break Room
Thankfully, there are a countless number of ways to instill an inviting atmosphere into your break room. Here are a few additions that we can recommend for any business.
Coffee Machine and Supplies
Thanks to the millions of people that rely on coffee to get through each day, the coffee industry is bigger than ever before. Installing a coffee machine in the office break room can be just the incentive you need to encourage break room usage! It also gives employees coffee access without leaving the workplace, saving them time and money. Don’t forget the milk and sugar.
Lunchtime is a great opportunity for employees to get to know one another, and it’s even more enjoyable if comfy furniture is available. The inclusion of couches can be a great addition, as well as provide a place for impromptu meetings.
There are multiple reasons to consider adding a television to a break room. Streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu have found great success in bringing entertainment to the millions of viewers who subscribe to their services, and employees might enjoy watching an episode of their favorite TV show during lunch.
The TV has more utility beyond solely providing entertainment. It also creates a non-traditional meeting space in the break room. If you’re hosting a meeting but don’t want everyone to file into a conference room, the TV can be connected to a number of devices for presentation purposes.
That’s right, you can never go wrong with offering snacks to employees! Eating a snack can provide the pick-me-up that many of us need during the day. Healthy snacks options are ideal, but having something for everyone is a thoughtful gesture.
Effect on Collaboration
An inviting break room can do wonders for company culture. It can act as a bridge between a company’s different departments, bringing employees to a common area to engage in conversation. Its presence makes impromptu collaboration between departments easier, in turn helping the company grow. And since everyone needs a break at some point during the day, everyone should give it a look. If the workplace break room is appealing enough, employees will decide to spend their lunch time there instead of retreating back to their desks or leaving the office.