What To Include in an Office Break Room
Prolonged periods of working from home have changed the way employees connect with each other. When it’s safe to gather at the workplace again, teams will benefit from a place to collaborate in person. Think about what to include in an office break room to make employees comfortable and productive. Beyond coffee, a vending machine, a fridge, and a microwave, offer employees the chance to relax, have some fun, and decompress.
Comfortable Places To Sit
The break room should be a physically different experience for employees to relax. Provide comfortable seating that’s different from typical conference tables or desk chairs. Include a couch, some upholstered armchairs, or even some bean bag chairs.
Tables and Booths
The break room also serves as a lunchroom, and employees need a comfortable place to eat away from their desks and cubes. Tables and booths offer workers a chance to gather and chat over lunch, away from the stress of screens and phones.
Games and Entertainment
A little friendly competition fosters team spirit and provides a great mental break to relieve stress, alleviate burnout, and reinvigorate thinking. Along with some classic board games, and a table for chess and checkers, include a foosball, air hockey, or table tennis. If your break room only has space for one game area, consider a multi-purpose game table that can convert to provide two or three different types of games. Create a separate area or room for video games, and one for watching movies or TV.
A bookshelf with works on leadership, soft skills, and how-to’s relevant to your business can turn break time into development time. Your team can pick up great ideas and new methods of working that can improve morale and productivity.
Some people need solitude and quiet to relax and recharge. Consider adding a few “quiet rooms” where employees can rest and read without distractions or noise. These rooms should be decorated in soothing colors, and have soft lighting, but enough to read by. Some employees may use such a room for meditation or using headphones or earbuds to listen to music for a little while without interruption.
Plants, Artwork, and a View
The breakroom should be a distinct environment from the working space. Warm it up with plants and artwork on the walls, not just the required informational posters. If your workspace gives you the opportunity to locate the break room along a bank of windows, take advantage and provide your team a view to the outside. Natural light and the freshening effect of greenery can help workers who really need break recharge and prepare for the next phase of their workday.
What to include in a break room will vary with how much space is available, company culture, and the number of employees the room must serve. Ideally, the room will be large enough for celebrating accomplishments and milestones, but not so cavernous that employees feel lost in a crowd.