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Creating the Perfect Break Room for Your Employees

Posted on January 19th 2015 by Peter.
Updated on: August 9th 2017.

Creating the Perfect Break Room for Your Employees

We all appreciate our breaks at work. Whether the bulk of your work day is spent at a desk in an office, picking stock in a warehouse or selling to customers on the shop floor, having a great canteen space or break room to retreat to is essential. These rooms are often over-looked when a company is beginning to spruce up their facilities and décor . That can actually be counter-productive in certain situations. Not only does a great canteen and break room provide a comfortable space to spend a lunch break, it acts as a centre for socialising amongst employees and an informal conference room for visitors and guests to the business.

When creating or upgrading your current space there’s no need to break the bank, but a decent investment of time and money can see a difference in staff satisfaction and also productivity in a short space of time.

Here’s a few suggestions of ideas and features from successful company canteens and break rooms to consider.

Stock up on the essentials

Coffee. Tea. Sugar. These foundations of the British workforce are surely in all break rooms around the country. Although they are most popular, it’s worth providing other types of office friendly refreshments for staff and visitors. Perhaps include hot beverages such as leaf and fruit teas, powdered drinks such as hot chocolate, and pod-based drink machines. These are all great additions to your canteen shelves and encourage staff to use and enjoy their break times. Providing essentials such as cups, plates, napkins and cutlery saves employees bringing these items from home and will be an appreciated gesture.

Of course, there is a cost to almost all of these and for smaller businesses this could be the deal-breaker. If you consider offering these drinks and other items for a minimal charge or voluntary donation this may cover the cost for your workplace. Whichever way you implement this system in your canteen, making these available to staff will increase job satisfaction and morale. In turn, this can create a more pleasant atmosphere to work in.

Tea and Coffee for the Break Room

Provide great canteen tables and chairs

The canteen or break room wouldn’t be complete without sets of tables and chairs for staff to sit down and take a break. Old school wooden chairs are a big ‘no’ for your canteen or break room. They may be the cheaper option, but investing in some comfortable canteen furniture will help staff feel a lot more relaxed and valued. Get some chairs that are easily stacked, making them easy to transport and store if they are not in use.

If employees take tea and coffee breaks as well as their lunch break, consider providing sofas where staff can sit and drink in comfort. The long-term benefits of providing comfortable furniture far outweigh the small financial expenditure.

Dartford Table and Chairs

Keeping the break room tidy

An attractive canteen space is always well organised. It helps to boost the moral of staff and the overall image of the business. No one wants to spend their break times surrounded by washing up and empty wrappers. Having the right cleaning, waste and storage solutions in the canteen can make a significant difference. This will change how employees use the space and the impression it leaves on them and guests to the business for the rest of the working day. A dishwasher (if fits in to the budget) is a must have appliance for your canteen or break room. No one wants to get stuck doing the washing up! Make sure floors are easy to wipe clean and are easy to access under tables and chairs.

The break room is a great space for informal group meetings, for mind mapping and general office updates. If you have regular training sessions with in your company, utilising the canteen for some of these sessions will allow staff to enjoy office refreshments while keeping the potential clean up to a confined space.

Use the space to communicate

Almost all company employees as well as visitors will use the workplace canteen at some point during their day. Why not utilise a section of wall and dedicate it to staff communications? You can display Heath & Safety notices and HSE posters alongside company policies. In addition to this vital communication, it can also be used to share fun company information including company sport team standings or a diary of company events happening in the month. It can even have a classified bulletin board where staff list items for sale. If your company is uber cool, put up a selection of inspirational quotes or ‘tweets of the week’ for staff to ponder on.

Decoration is a major factor

When thinking about the décor of your canteen, make sure you’re not just creating an extension of your office. Keep it different to the rest of your workplace. Change the colour of the walls and the layout of the room to give it a feeling of separation. Making the space feel different will help staff to fully disconnect from their work-space and enjoy their break time.

The environment change gives them the chance to relax. When they do reach the end of their break and go back to their work, they will feel fresh and productivity will be on the up. With all this in mind, try not to over-think the décor either. Simply create an interesting space that stands out from the rest of your business premises. Keep the walls bright and engaging by adding some artwork or place some plants around to bring some of the outside indoors.

Hartland Table & Chairs

Consider games tables & suitable entertainment

The chance to have a bit of fun during a break time helps relieve stress and gives the chance to really unwind for a brief period. Games tables such as air-hockey, foosball and pool give the chance to engage in a non-work related activity. They can promote communication and bonding between work-mates and eventually lead to stronger team relationships.

If you can afford to install a flat-screen TV in your canteen then go for it. A TV can be a valuable way of keeping staff entertained and up-to-date. By selecting channels that show the news or current events, employees can still feel connected to the goings-on in the outside world whilst at work.

Create a positive atmosphere

Your canteen or break room can be used for celebrations within the company. Make use of it for staff birthdays or for promoting individual and team achievements. This will help separate the room from the rest of the work space and associate it with success and positivity. Create a break room where staff will actually want to go and meet each other, a place where they can enjoy their lunch and coffee breaks. It is an investment in pushing up productivity and improving office culture.

Positive Break Room Atmosphere

Any requests?

Last but not least, tailor the break room to your company and staff. A great canteen space has features that have been suggested or requested by those who use it. Simply asking questions is vital in creating a truly enjoyable and successful break room, it’s as easy as that! Place a comment box letting staff and visitors submit their ideas on what they would like to see or have in the canteen. Regularly gather up those ideas and look to implement the most valuable suggestions given.

At the end of the day, the suggestions you act on may be small and low cost, but it shows that the company cares about it’s staff and their opinions and will increase job satisfaction.

What if my premises are too small?

If your premises are too small to devote a room to lunch breaks, then a well-designed kitchenette is for you. When the budget is small or space is lacking this most basic solution. It will still provide a place for staff to take a break and enjoy their lunch or coffee. A counter with essentials such as a kettle, microwave and a sink will suffice. A nicely designed and clean kitchenette can still go some way to gaining benefits for the staff and company alike.

The bottom line is, if you make the effort to create a canteen or break room where staff can truly step away from their work and relax, they will be refreshed and in return, reward the company with better work and increased productivity. Remember, it is worth going the extra mile. If you do the bare minimum, you can expect the bare minimum in return. If you want more, you will have to take steps above and beyond the average way of doing things.

Do you have any other tips for making a more relaxing space for a break at work? Comment below and let us know.

Head over to the Workplace Products website to see our range of Canteen Furniture and start creating the perfect break room for your employees today.

1 thought on “Creating the Perfect Break Room for Your Employees”

  1. Ira Luxton says:

    Hi

    I’m looking for two round tables 1220 diameter and 16 chairs either foldable or stackable.

    Thanks, Ira

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