A typical workday often gets very chaotic and exhausting for employees. When in need of a break, most employees head straight to the breakroom. It’s not just a place to grab a cup of coffee and store meals. It is where employees should be able to relax and recharge. The breakroom is a place where company leaders are able to establish company culture with their employees. It is where employees have an opportunity to interact with their “work family” and get to know each other better. According to the University of Michigan, encouraging these small, positive interactions will increase oxytocin levels, strengthen the immune system, and create positive cortisol patterns within the body. Now that’s pretty amazing!
In many workplace cultures, taking breaks during the workday is seen as a waste of time. People assume that the best employees work non-stop while maintaining respectable performance. In reality this “work-hard” mentality isn’t effective or healthy. Nearly 38% of North American workers do not feel encouraged to take a break while 22% of North American bosses say that employees who take regular breaks are working less hard. Breaks are essential in helping employees de-stress and recharge for the rest of the workday. According to a Tork survey, almost 90% of workers claim that taking lunch breaks help them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work. It is important that employers are encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the workday while offering a space to unwind. There are multiple ways you can improve employee productivity by transforming your company’s culture through an organized breakroom.
Create a Communal Space that Feels Like Home
When creating your breakroom, it is important that your employees feel comfortable in this space. A great way to do so is by constructing an area that feels like a home kitchen, bar or lounge area. Providing comfortable tables and chairs, modern clean appliances, natural light, and adequate counter space. The breakroom should be a casual place where employees can gather and unwind. Consider including a TV, glass marker board, or games to promote relaxation and creativity. It is important to produce an atmosphere that is more comforting than a conference room – encouraging employee subgroups such as a book club. Creating a place for everyday moments where people need a change of scenery.
Feature Your Brand
Use your breakroom as an opportunity to reinforce your brand and culture from within. Incorporate your brand colors, purpose statement, or core values in different areas of the space. This promotes company standards and is a constant reminder of culture and brand focus. Be strategic with furnishings that capture brand identity and company culture. For example, if your culture focuses on an active lifestyle, consider adding high-top tables that encourage employees to stand instead of sit, or core stability seating at tables instead of traditional chairs. Tailor your breakroom to your brand and intentionally develop a culture that your team can thrive from.
Adequately Stock the Breakroom
Create a space that encourages your employees to eat in the breakroom rather than at their desks. Providing equipment such as a full-sized fridge to store meals, kitchen appliances, and vending machines with healthy options and wide variety that your employees like is important. In a recent study by ZeroCater, 88% of employees thought offering snacks in the office was important, and 90% of employers say that meals help their employees build stronger relationships with colleagues while boosting productivity. Another important movement is sustainability. Be open to providing your employees with products that fit eco-friendly initiatives; such as recyclable & compostable items and green cleaning supplies and dishwashing items. Listen to your employees, and stock the breakroom with snacks, beverages and supplies that fit their personal preferences.
Be Thoughtful with Furniture Choices
86% of employees admit they are more productive when they take breaks, so selecting the right furniture in the breakroom is essential. Give your employees multiple seating options by mixing and matching furniture heights. Choosing bar height tables and stools as well as standard tables and chairs will create a more dynamic space. Also, consider adding soft seating for a more comfortable option to promote conversation. Keep in mind that employees may not clean up after themselves. Choose materials that won’t showcase spills and messes while also being easy to clean.
Allow employees to bond through a shared, fun experience. Try adding a game table such as ping pong, foosball or air hockey. Having games helps employees learn how to work together in a relaxed and fun manner. Employees are building team skills without the stress of daily work tasks. Games in the workplace also prove to increase productivity and enhance creativity. Simply adding a game table may not be enough, and without careful design things may come off looking unprofessional. But done right, a game table in the breakroom could inject your workspace with a vibe we all strive for, help grow a sense of community and attract and retain talent.
Innovative is here to make make your breakroom dreams come true! From stocking your breakroom with delicious coffee and snacks, to designing an engaging yet relaxing breakroom, we’re here every step of the way! Contact your Account Executive to get started today, or reach out to our customer care team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866.574.5389.