By Marlene Cosain
Employee break rooms are a very subtle, yet effective, way to increase productivity. The way our break rooms are put together, or what they include can make a world of a difference. Your staff’s time on the clock can get stressful, and some days your employees just need a mental or physical break from the job. Revamping your break room does not necessarily mean that you have to spend a crazy amount of money on upgrades, but it is unquestionably worth the investment. It is all about finding just the right essentials to get the job done. Below you will find different strategies used by various companies in the United States, and their checklist of break room essentials.
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee
It is no secret that normal protocol calls for coffee in an office setting. This is not just a mere coincidence either. For the most part, coffee is inexpensive; therefore, it is an easy way to provide a positive incentive to employees. While your employees feel rewarded (because everyone lives off of coffee), they are also boosting their mental energy and improving their focusing abilities. A small investment like this can go a long way.
Make it Different
This point is key because your break room should not look like another part of your office. The typical pale walls and black desks should be left for the rest of the office. When designing your break room, it is a good idea to try a different color palette. The point of a break room is to make your employees feel like they’re not at their desk, so making the break room stand out is vital. Inc.com weighs in, “Making this distinction is important because it will allow your workers to fully disconnect from their workspace and decompress. The change in environment will give them a chance to relax and embrace the change in scenery.”
Furniture & Dining Areas
Color palettes go beyond wall colors. If you chose to put a neutral wall color, try adding a pop of color or making a difference in the furniture or decorations. Sofas or comfortable lounge chairs are a great way to help your employees relax or recharge their energy. Also when adding tables, make sure to provide an appropriate amount of space. Small Business Chron suggests, “Set up a dining area away from the food preparation area to give the staff enough room to heat and prepare their food without tripping over the tables. Choose chairs with washable fabric for ease of cleaning.
This is potentially one of the most important parts of the process. You do not want to invest money into things that employees are not going to use or do not like. Since it is for them, it is a good idea to be open for suggestions, this way you are receiving the most out of your money’s worth.
Break rooms are definitely not the place to bombard your employees with company codes and regulations. Trust me, the code of conduct will be the last thing they will be paying attention to while trying to relax.