While businesses often renovate work areas, many breakrooms remain basic, with only vending machines of soda and junk food. Other times, the break area shares space with stacked boxes. The tips below can help employers keep peace in the office, and sanity in the breakroom.
Decorate. A simple, fresh coat of paint can work wonders. A light or sky blue is relaxing, as is light-green or aqua. Any shade will draw people in. Don't want to repaint? A few welcoming posters can go a long way.
Make room. Make sure there is space for employees to sit in the breakroom. If the room isn't large enough to stop people from falling into each other while they're hanging out, consider the way that the space is organized. Could you choose smaller furniture? If you use the room efficiently, people should be able to relax even without a lot of space.
Create a dedicated space. Make sure to carve out space for the breakroom. If you must use it for storage, invest in cabinets or shelves, so that the space will still look welcoming.
Go for comfort. Comfortable chairs are essential. They don't have to be luxurious, but stay away from those hard plastic cushionless bone crushers.
Add variety. Vending machines are famously boring. In addition to the regular fare, add one or two healthy choices like trail mix and sparkling water.
Provide reading material. A little reading article can be a great release from a stressful day. Current magazines and newspapers can be solid additions to the breakroom.
Encourage sharing. Provide ways for employees to contribute to the room. For example, a chalkboard for drawing, or a mini-library or book swap.
Make things fun. Board games can be a great way to relax. Choose games that can be played and finished within 30 minutes to one hour. This could also help break the ice for new employees and promote bonding all around.
Use technology. A breakroom television can make relaxing easy. If the company doesn't use WiFi as part of daily operations, it can still be nice for employees to have access in the breakroom, so that they can check email and keep up with the latest news during off time.
Provide perks. Every now and agiain, offer free coffee, snacks, pizza, etc.. Also, have a guest speaker come in with an interesting topic. Or even bring in musicians for a mini-concert. Make your employees feel appreciated and production will improve.
Pat Jacobs is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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