It's no secret that companies who invest in their employees’ wellbeing enjoy higher levels of productivity, enhanced creativity, employee satisfaction and loyalty. After all, no one wants to work with a business that doesn’t care about them.
One of the best and most cost-effective way to invest in your employees’ wellbeing is to spruce up the breakroom or "chill out" area. Here are some tips.
Barring their desk, employees spend the most amount of time in the breakroom. It’s where they connect with fellow workers, take a break, sip come coffee, rest and relax. In fact, the breakroom is where the magic happens. It’s when employees are relaxing that they most likely experience their ‘Aha!’ moment. Ideas are conjured during rest periods. Solutions are arrived at while brewing coffee.
Most importantly, breakrooms are secret team building spaces because employees are free to converse with their team members. It’s where they bond over a Game of Thrones episode, have Star Trek vs Star Wars battles and learn about an H&M sale. And businesses need to capitalise on these secret team building spaces and creative minefields.
Studies support this. One such study done by Staples found that 86% employees believe breaks make them more productive and 59% claimed that frequent breaks increased work satisfaction.
So how can businesses jazz up their drab breakrooms? Here are some great breakroom ideas:
Provide a coffee machine and tea kettle
When was the last time anyone ever got through the day without their favorite café latte or black coffee? Providing copious amounts of caffeine and tea bags is mandatory for employees working on eight-hour shifts. They’ll be grateful to have one or two cappuccino machines, a tea kettle and an array of snacks in the pantry. Go the extra mile and make the breakroom a little livelier and a little less like a pantry by having a sign that says “coffee bar” or “snack bar.” You can store tea bags and ground coffee in cool jars with interesting fonts. Get some vibrant mugs.
The small investment will pay off when you notice employees sipping on some chamomile tea to relax or a fresh espresso to beat Monday morning blues. You can even go that extra mile and purchase or rent that bar like coffee machine – you’ll have yourself a group of baristas walking around the office in no time.
Get some cool wall art and décor
Nothing spells office drone like bare white walls and monotonous black furniture. Spend money on cool wall art and spice up the décor of the breakroom. Add funny sayings on the wall or motivating quotes.
Speaking of décor, ditch traditional chairs for some plush bean bags and a well-stocked pantry brimming with healthy snacks and delicious lunches. Bonus points if you can offer muffins, cupcakes and a bevy of Danish pastries every morning for breakfast!
Don’t forget to install a bulletin board, a fun chalkboard for chalking down ideas (or just doodling) or photo displays. Splash walls with interesting paintings or a neat sculpture. You can even add sports wall art and memorabilia.
Games, games and lots of games!
Nothing destresses employees like games. Get a foosball table, a pool table, air-hockey or a video game console. Install a TV and reward hardworking employees by giving them the option to watch an episode of their favorite TV show while wolfing down lunch. If space is a problem, breakroom ideas dictate stacking up on board games. Scrabble, Monopoly, Risk, poker, Uno. Take your pick.
Go beyond décor
While people appreciate a smattering of colour, it’s imperative to give them more than just material things. Interesting breakroom ideas suggest giving employees free massages every Friday, hosting a couple of yoga classes in the breakroom, offering free zoo passes (their kids will love it), giving them some live events to enjoy sometimes, having a post-work cocktail hour in the breakroom, giving them discounts on gym memberships, getting a chef to take cooking classes, sizzling some meats for a community barbeque party or hosting cook-offs.
These fun activities in the breakroom will not only build teams but will also amp the energy in the office.
Make working late convenient
Places to take a quick nap, shower access (if your facility has access) and a treadmill in the breakroom can go a long way in helping employees work assiduously on a presentation, a pitch to potential clients or meeting sales targets during peak working periods. They’ll be grateful for the little things you provide for them.
Emulate your company’s culture
One cool idea in the sea of breakroom ideas is to use them as spaces that emulate your company’s culture. Does your company sell organic, healthy foods? Load your pantry with organic meals and snacks. Does your business provide streaming services to customers? Put a TV and popcorn machine in the breakroom. Do you sell educational programs to customers? Toss in some books on a big bookshelf in your breakroom.
Be innovative while decorating the breakroom. Hire an interior decorator if you must. Do what you gotta do to make employees feel happy, healthy, appreciated and relaxed in a creative, productive and fun work environment.
Cassie Smith is a Marketing Manager at 7 Grams Coffee, an office coffee and machine supplier for 300+ offices around Australia.