Have you ever had the experience of working somewhere where the break room was dark, dirty and generally unkempt? These are usually retail break rooms, unfortunately. Mostly due to the fact most retail stores are a concrete building with little to no windows. Other break rooms are sterile, which is nice that they are clean, but they have no warmth or welcoming feeling. All business and no pleasure, as they say.
Add a Little Light
It is better to opt for light-colored furniture rather than dark. Just think of when the realtor staged your home to sell. They recommend painting the house in a neutral color. If you are required to do some renovations, they suggest white cabinets in the kitchen and white doors. It really brightens a house up. It also makes smaller spaces look bigger. These kinds of tips can be used for a break room too.
If the room is dark, paint it white and add a little light. Well-positioned lamps and a ceiling fan with higher wattage will do wonders to make the room brighter.
Make it Functional
Think about your employees. What will make them use a break room? What are they looking for? Do they want to reheat a meal? Store perishables, drinks, and snacks? Then provide a refrigerator big enough to house many lunches. A microwave to reheat meals or make popcorn or reheat hot drinks. Provide a tea kettle and coffee pot so they can make their hot drinks. Think break room nook, instead of the breakfast nook. Here’s a novel idea, poll your employees to get ideas of what their “dream” break room would look like and have in it.
Whether you put in a kitchenette, full kitchen or just a sink with cupboard and counter space should be decided upon before you do anything else. Then create the rest of the space with that in mind.
Make it Comfortable
Make it comfortable but not too comfortable! You don’t want employees falling asleep and forgetting to go back to work. Comfortable chairs perhaps make them padded, to eat meals, rest weary feet and legs. A table to eat at and socialize with colleagues. Perhaps a sofa, coffee table, and chair, it all depends on the size of your room and budget.
Make Your Break Room Welcoming
You don’t have to be an interior designer or have one, unless you have the money for one, to create an awesome break room. But with a little ingenuity and creativity, you can make a room that sends the message that you appreciate your employees. Put warm photographs or art on the walls. Coordinate the color scheme, instead of a mishmash of odds and ends that someone was throwing out. Unless of course, you have repurposed them for your use. Background music if it is desirable.
Keep it Clean
Keeping your break room clean may mean you hire a cleaning crew or person to keep it clean, require employees to clean up after themselves, or assigning employees to take turns keeping it clean. This must be a thought-out plan. Post rules of use. A “wash your hands” hygiene poster. “If you dirty it, you clean it” or other fun ways to convey how the room is to be used, treated, and kept clean throughout the day if the cleaning person is not on-site full-time. Include break room etiquette in your employee manual. Make a poster of it, laminate it, and post it in the on the break room wall.
Your Employees Will Thank You
Good employees will appreciate a break room where the employer supplies snacks, water, coffee and tea. They will also enjoy their work environment better if they have a space to rest and relax for their breaks. Satisfied employees lead to better productivity and a happy, fulfilled workplace. If you can accomplish these things by re-designing or creating a break room your employees actually want to use, won’t the time, money and effort be worthwhile in the end?
Here’s to your break room success!