The office break room is meant to be a communal relaxing space where employees can escape for their lunchtime or have before or after work hangouts. No matter if you’re a small business, a medium sized office or have a hoard of hundreds, a break room is arguably one of the most important parts of an office. Not only can it improve your company culture overall and make life just a little more pleasant for everyone, it can help people increase their productivity.
Here are some good reasons why you should invest in a good break space at your company.
Studies have shown that having a space to congregate and share conversation, increases overall productivity by 10-15%. Humans are social creatures that enjoy sharing, collaborating, and find satisfaction from making connections. By creating a space at work where people can form constructive work relationships, you’re facilitating high rates of productivity.
Having a well thought out and efficient space allows staff to see you care, and boosts morale and motivation. Having regular breaks improves mental wellbeing and according to research, 81% of staff who take a daily lunch break have a stronger desire to be an active member of their company.
How to Build the Best Break Space
Your break room should feel like a separate space within the office, so it feels like a mini getaway for employees. Keep in mind, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some tips and tricks that you can implement in your own office break space that will increase morale and productivity. Win, win!
Having comfortable seating should be number one on any break room or space list! Having a nice place to sit down will make sure it is an inviting area to be in and encourage people to use it. Comfortable seats don’t mean you have to just have a pile of beanbags though. If you want to have a professional looking setting, try nice, comfortable chairs, couches and benches.
Coffee and Tea
Setting up a coffee and tea station in your break space means staff won’t have to race down the street every morning for their cup of joe, instead they can make it right in house. It’s a good idea to invest in a good coffee solution and include a variety of milk options for all diets and tastes.
Keep your bowl of fruit stocked and include some goodies like nuts, popcorn, crackers, and other high protein and healthy snacks. Staff appreciate having something to munch on when the 3pm slump rolls around. Plus, it’s a healthy way to boost energy levels.
A Pop of Greenery
Brining in a touch of the outdoors with office plants not only makes the space warm and inviting, but it also increases productivity and makes people happy. Research shows plants in an office space increases productivity by 15%, and another study shows 10% of employee sick days could be explained by a lack of nature and natural light in an office.
Books and Games
The point of your office break room should be to support employees stepping away from their desk, from their work and allowing their brain a break. Placing some fun games and thought-provoking books in the space gives people the tools for a great mental break.
Decorate with Color
Research shows that colors have an impact on people’s emotions and productivity. Adding a few pops of color here and there in a break space can turn it from dreary to endearing in no time. If you’re looking to motivate, add some orange. If you want to inspire some joy and friendliness, add some yellow. Blues and greens offer some tranquility and layering with different shades of the same color can add some harmony.
From fun graphics, to artwork, a sofa, pillow or plant, choosing the right color for your break room can help boost energy levels, productivity and mood.
Alternatives to a Break Room
Still want to encourage staff to take a break in the workday, but maybe don’t have the space to spare in your office? That’s fine! Here are some excellent alternatives that will ensure employees have the resources to take breaks.
Walking or Fitness Groups
Not only will this keep staff socializing, this will encourage everyone to get outside, take a stroll and enjoy their break.
If you have a boardroom, chances are you have a great big table perfect for boardgames. Pencil in an hour each week for people to gather and play a boardgame as a team. Not only is this a cheap team building technique, it gives staff a great mental break from work.
Encouraging staff to take their break has a lot of benefits and it’s worth the investment. When you have a great break strategy in place, you can watch your productivity and morale levels increase, and employee satisfaction rise. These tips prove you don’t need a lot of money, or endless resources to create a break-positive culture in your workplace.