A well-equipped employee break room goes a long way in terms of employee happiness and morale, and, by extension, their productivity. The importance of having a functional employee break room is widely recognized and most companies are looking to create a room where their employees can relax, as well as engage in team building activities. Depending on the size of the designated room, as well as the number and needs of the employees, break rooms may require different supplies and equipment. If you are looking to create an employee break room, or give your existing room a little boost, below is a list of essential items you should consider:
Although it is located within the office space, a break room should be decorated and arranged so that it stands out from the rest of the office. After all, its purpose is to provide employees with a break from their work. Depending on the options available to you, you can achieve this by decorating the walls, displaying witty motivational messages and/or hanging a community bulletin board. Either way, the point is to decorate and stock the break room with items which will help your employees unwind and spend some time relaxing or in idle conversation with each other.
This item is probably the first thing that springs to mind when you imagine a break room. Providing your employees with drinking water or hot water for making tea or coffee is why a water cooler is essential for any break room or even office.
Quality seating and tables
Considering that your employees will spend their lunch breaks in the break room, you should make sure that the tables and chairs you provide are sturdy and comfortable. Apart from allowing your employees to sit down and eat a meal, having colleagues eat lunch together will facilitate their bonding, which is important for any business. Lunchtime conversations between them may even help solve some of the work-related problems they are facing. You can always go a step further and add a couch or bean bags and provide your employees with a comfortable place to socialize or relax.
Buying some basic compostable cutlery for your break room is a small investment but can make a great addition, since employees won’t have to bring forks or spoons along with their lunch.
A coffee machine
Having a coffee machine in your company break room is a must. Most of your employees probably drink coffee at least once a day, and they will want to have a cup during their break. Apart from employee satisfaction, caffeine will improve their focus and give them an energy boost when they need it the most. You can provide your employees with coffee either by buying a coffee machine and stocking it yourself, or renting a reliable workplace coffee machine.
A news source
Most employees will want to check the news during their break. Providing a TV set to a news channel, or stocking the break room with daily newspaper is a much better alternative to having your employees checking the news on their phones when they are supposed to be working.
A microwave oven
This is another affordable item for your office break room which your employees are going to enjoy a lot. Nobody likes eating cold food, and a microwave oven will allow your employees to reheat the contents of their lunch box quickly.
Having a fridge in the break room will allow your employees to store their lunch, and will encourage them to bring healthy food from home. It can also be used to store snacks and drinks for several days and have them available when they need them.
Adding some games to your office break room, which don’t necessarily have to be expensive, will allow the employees to engage in stress-free activities and unwind during their break, which increases productivity. If you can afford it, you can also include some multiplayer games in the room, such as foosball, which can help team building, and encourage co-workers to bond in a non-work environment.
Not all companies can afford the most advanced break room for their employees. However, equipping the room for rest and relaxation with some essential items, depending on the design and intended purpose of the break room, is a very cost-effective way of boosting morale and productivity. If you are still at a loss in terms of the design and equipment of the break room, you can always involve the people who are going to use it. Asking for their opinions will both make them feel valued and help you provide them with a break room your company can afford and your employees can be satisfied with.
Chloe Smith is a business consultant and a part-time writer always willing to share tidbits of advice. She believes that passion, courage and, above all, knowledge breed success. When she’s not working, she’s probably somewhere cuddled up with a good book, and a cup of lemongrass tea (or more honestly binge-watching the newest Netflix hit show).