13 ways to turn your office break room into an employee hang out
The office break room is typically the most communal, relaxing space in the workplace. It’s where employees escape after their pomodoro timers chime to engage in small talk or eat a snack. The atmosphere should draw people in and provide options for different tastes. This one room can make or break the office dynamic, depending on whether it’s designed right.
Here are some helpful tips for establishing the perfect balance in the office break room, so the lines between personal and professional life start to blur.
1. Create a user-friendly coffee station
Your office coffee station should accommodate everyone’s coffee preferences without creating a mess of milk spills and coffee floods. It should remain clean and neat without much hassle and coffee drinkers should be able to take their coffee quickly, so a line doesn’t build up. Try a Moriondo Coffee membership to satisfy all of these conditions.
In addition, our coffee habits can become wasteful without conscious approaches to minimizing waste. Here are a few ways to promote an eco-friendly coffee culture in the office.
2. Offer free healthy snacks and drinks
Employees genuinely appreciate having snacks to keep their energy levels high. For some people, it’s a health requirement. Make your office inclusive by bringing popular fruit, nuts and crackers for your employees. Make sure you choose items that your whole office can agree on by consulting with your employees about their preferences, allergies and dietary requirements.
3. Incorporate plants and natural sunlight
Bringing a touch of the outdoors into an office break room can improve the sense of calm in the space. Research shows that our stress levels diminish when we spend time in nature. You can easily design with this concept in mind.
4. Offer stimulating books, games and magazines
The point of taking breaks is to temporarily set aside our workload and turn our minds to something else. By giving your employees thought provoking books or entertaining games, you’re likely to improve the overall productivity in your office. This is because sometimes our unconscious thought processes are more efficient at making mental connections for complex problems.
5. Decorate with an approachable sense of humor
Nothing draws people together more than a shared joke. Why not make a statement in your office by adding a comedic touch. Whether this is a large print of your favorite comic strip, or a photo booth with silly props, try to get creative and add some humor into your office space.
6. Ask for feedback and input
Consult with the experts: the employees who’ll be using your office break room. Your employees will appreciate the opportunity to personalize the shared office break room space.
7. Choose furniture that allows for flexible seating arrangements
After sitting at a desk, nothing feels better than the chance to stretch out on a comfortable couch. Giving your employees seating options helps them decide how they want to spend their break. Some people may prefer to sit alone, while others may want to gather around a table.
Offer places to sit such as comfortable couches and chairs of varied heights. Put wheels on the table legs to ensure that your employees can easily customize the space.
8. Offer privacy and a quiet space
When possible, the workplace break room should have some nooks and crannies where people can be alone. Ideally, this space should also provide some peace and quiet. This is essential for people who need to breastfeed, step away from a situation, or make a private phone call.
10. Establish office break room etiquette
Without setting clear expectations in the breakroom, all of your well-intended designs might go to waste. Ensure that each employee knows how to respect the space and other employees by collaboratively agreeing on some guidelines.
11. Have a place for everything
Keeping a shared space organized can be difficult. That’s why it’s important to think ahead and make sure there’s a cupboard, bin or drawer for everything. It also helps to add labels so no one gets confused about where to put something.
12. Replace your break room bulletin board with a white board
Giving people a place to write and leave messages in a flexible, creative way allows for spontaneous ideas to flow. Replacing your bulletin board with a white board and throwing up some magnets for hanging fliers is a great way to accomplish this goal.
13. Include compost and recycling bins
If you want people to respect your space, they should also respect the environment. Giving the option to compost and recycle in the office sends a clear signal that your office management cares about sustainability.
Moriondo Coffee memberships promote workplace sharing, convenience and community. We help offices go zero waste.
Have more tips and suggestions of your own, let us know!
Erica Eller, Sustainability Content Marketing Writer