Improving the Breakroom

The humble breakroom is often overlooked along with its actual importance for employee morale. The breakroom is named as such though because of its intended purpose; it’s a place where the employees can take mental and physical breaks from work. So, if you want your work team to be satisfied and productive at work, you need to create a space where the employees can relax, sit together and enjoy each other’s company. This also encourages friendships which carry over to the collaboration done in the office as well.

What makes a great breakroom?

To create a breakroom which meets the above requirements, you can do different things. Choosing a paint for the walls that’s relaxing and having comfortable seating with tables and chairs are two things that you can do. If you have a enough space, creating a few separate spaces for employees who like to relax by themselves or gather their thoughts can be a morale booster.

Herman Miller-Caper-Stack Chair-01Additionally, the way you decorate your breakroom can make a big difference. You can add wall art that’s soothing or fun, some books or even a TV. A few plants, whether artificial or real, can give the room a back to nature feel too. Adding a refrigerator, a microwave or small stove, a sink, counters and a cupboard will give the room a cozy at home feeling also. The cupboards should have dishes, cups and silverware as well. Tables, chairs and sofas add to the coverall comfort and usability of the space. To create more function in the breakroom, include nesting/folding tables, so they can be easily moved to the side for gatherings.

In addition to all of this, if your breakroom is large enough it can be a great place for celebrations and parties as well. Birthday celebrations, promotions or even a spread to celebrate the success of a completed project can be enjoyed by all in the breakroom. Also, there should be a maintenance schedule for the breakroom and for the appliances in it to be cleaned either by employees or maintenance.

A separate place

The breakroom should be physically separated from the rest of the office or offices. If not, and the employees can see others taking break, this can cause potential distractions. You can use room dividers, barriers, or curtains if you don’t have a separate room for this. Make the room stand out so that it feels like a different part of the building.

This is good because the breakroom isn’t just about being compassionate to your employees. A workforce that can unwind for a bit in a breakroom means money in the pockets of a business. A workforce that can’t unwind like this tends to have higher turnover rates, costing resources from profits to be used to hire and train new people more often.

Freebees

Free coffee should be a staple in your breakroom. Along with the coffee there should be cream, sugar; cups and stirrers. If you have tea drinkers, tea should be free as well. Free coffee and tea are good incentives for your workers because moderate caffeine use improves focus, attention spans and gives a boost to mental energy as well. Plus, coffee and tea aren’t overly expensive for the return that you’ll get from them. In addition to coffee and tea too, provide water that’s either filtered or bottled, for free so that your employees can stay hydrated during their work shifts. Keeping it cold is an extra bonus.

Other options for freebees could include healthy food being offered. It would be considered an extra by your employees, but the benefit to you is avoiding the afternoon slump of employees. So, with healthy snacks such as vegetables, nuts, yogurt and whole grains; this can curb employee hunger without them having sugar crashes. This will increase productivity.

Ask your employees

A breakroom which is great has features which the employees have asked for. The best way to find out what your employees would like in the breakroom is to just ask them. You could hang a comment box in the breakroom for suggestions on changes or improvements additionally. Then use the suggestions which are the most feasible. This shows your employees that you value their opinions.

If you make an effort where feasible to make a breakroom a place where your employees can be more relaxed and be refreshed, afterwards you will be rewarded with happier and more productive employees.

References:
http://smallbiztrends.com/2016/11/employee-break-room-ideas.html
http://smallbusiness.chron.com/improve-employee-break-room-21314.html