The Underrated Power of an Equipped Employee Break Room
Advantages of a Well-Stocked Employee Breakroom
Little things matter in life. It's nice to feel appreciated.
Whether it's your spouse showing you their appreciation by doing the dishes all week or a friend buying a bottle of wine to say thanks, it all matters.
And it especially matters when your employer shows how much they appreciate you. While employees are grateful for the paycheck, having the boss show a little appreciation improves morale.
Even a well-stocked employee break room can make a huge difference in morale and performance. Let's take a look at the reasons why.
An Employee Break Room Reinforces Cultural Values
The employee break room is a great place for you to place reminders about your company's cultural values.
You can use the space and design as tools for communicating the values that matter to your brand. Use posters and images to help you reinforce your values.
Emphasize connectivity by having all employees take a coffee break at 11 A.M. Emphasize fun by placing a ping pong table in the space.
It doesn't have to be large, expensive, or dramatic. Even a few posters will help transform the space.
Appearance Is Everything
A drab break room isn't going to attract anyone. Neither will one that is sparse or is mostly items an employee is forced to purchase.
It also doesn't make people want to stick around and form relationships. Unless you're hoping they hang out to complain about how cheap your company is.
Do yourself and everyone else a favor. Make the break room exciting.
Use colors that are calm and inviting. Make sure there are places to sit or stand easily.
If you have furniture, choose items that are comfortable to spend time in.
Higher Productivity Levels
If your office currently doesn't have an employee break room, there is probably a good chance your employees leave the office during their breaks.
Perhaps they are all heading over to Starbucks to grab their afternoon latte. It doesn't matter, your employees have literally left the building and aren't working.
That means a dramatic decline in office productivity.
By adding an employee break room that employees actually want to spend time in, you're increasing the amount of time they spend working.
Not only will leaving the office cause problems, but when your employees aren't happy, they aren't working as hard for you. And they're leaving at a higher rate.
Which means you're losing a lot of money.
Increase Productivity With Healthy Food
You are what you eat. Not only will eating healthy make you physically healthier, but you also become mentally healthier as well.
And if your employees are leaving the office to find food, there's a good chance they aren't making healthy choices.
If you do provide snacks, if they come from a vending machine or are processed, you're doing your business and your employees a disservice.
That's because foods high in sugar, fat, and salt slow us down and make us groggy. We don't have the same energy levels and usually end up crashing from a sugar high.
Not exactly the best strategy to get great performance levels in your employees.
Provide them with healthy snack choices in the break room and you'll find you have employees with fewer sick days and higher productivity levels.
A Space For Recharging
No one can keep working solidly for eight hours without needing a few breaks here and there. We humans need to recharge our batteries every once in a while.
Otherwise, we get burnt out and our work often suffers.
An employee break room is a great space to encourage the recharging of their batteries. If your space is large enough, place a few couches where people can stretch out on them for a brief rest.
Have a door that shuts out the sounds of the rest of the office so people can feel as though they've gone somewhere else.
Encouraging people to stay and rest will actually benefit your company. Both Google and Zappos are extremely profitable companies that highly encourage their employees to take naps.
Again, if the employee can recharge while at work, you'll find productivity increases and there are fewer sick days.
Employees work harder when they think their boss actually cares about them. And it's usually not the big stuff that keeps an employee working somewhere, it's the little stuff.
While bonuses are nice, most people just want to work somewhere they feel valued.
Employees want to know their boss appreciates their hard work, whether they are part of the cleaning staff or the CFO.
Happier employees work harder, have increased productivity, and have fewer sick days. It's also easier to retain happy employees and create a positive work culture.
An Employee Break Room Invites Collaboration
A break room is a place that is practically begging employees to collaborate with one another.
It's a space that fosters new relationships when two employees might not commonly interact with one another.
A meeting space with comfortable furniture and good lighting can often become the catalyst that sparks a conversation leading to drastic improvements.
It's also a great space for all employees to feel welcome and share any valuable input they may have.
What Makes a Great Breakroom
A chair and a coffee machine won't do it. A great break room has to have a few necessary items.
It must have good lighting and feel inviting to employees.
Provide healthy snacks including fresh fruits that people can snack on for free.
Make beverages like coffee, tea, and water available. While a single coffee machine might seem more economical, it's not.
People prefer to choose their own type of tea or coffee. A machine that allows each employee to choose their favorite type of coffee or tea will stop them from making a quick stop at Starbucks.
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