Modern professionals spend a lot of time at work (on average, people spend over 10 years at the office throughout their lives). With that in mind, you need to create an office space that will make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. If you want to make your employees feel at home, make sure to provide them with a practical and vibrant break room and kitchen area. Those of us who are not proficient in design should rely on the following tips and success is guaranteed.
Make it different
To allow workers to relax and disconnect from the job during their breaks, your break room and kitchen need to be different from your office space. While it’s good to have your company logo and colors throughout the work area, leave them out of these relaxation areas. Change the color of the wall, invest in different furniture, add a personal touch and decorate with fun items.
The break room and kitchen are not just designed for quick meals. They’re also meant for relaxation and casual conversation, so ditch those plastic chairs and invest in comfortable furniture. These pieces actually aid relaxation and communication. Lounges and comfy armchairs will serve as a nice break from the stress of the work. If you’re working with a tight budget, beanbags and pillows have a low price point yet they are comfortable and fun.
Provide ample electricity
A lunch break is a perfect time to recharge your devices. So make sure to provide plenty of outlets. If you only have a few, they will be used for appliances or workers who arrive first and that’s not fair to the rest of your workforce. To provide better access to outlets, make sure that furniture is not blocking any sources of electricity. Also, get extension cords and outlet splitters—smartphones don’t draw a lot of energy. That way you can plug a few of them in one outlet without any worry. Also, you’ll have outlet access even during office events! With that in mind, don’t run extension cords across the floor—it looks ugly and poses a safety risk.
Invest in quality necessities
This especially goes for the kitchen area—you need to have several quality appliances that will not only provide quick snacks but also allow working lunches or dinners. For longer lunch/dinner breaks, your employees will need a gas burner perfect for preparing quick yet tasty meals. Combine a gas burner with some good ventilation and you will have a kitchen that’s practical yet comfortable for all. A fridge, microwave, and dishwasher are also a must.
Spice it up with fun items
Workers that need to go an entire day without fun will be unhappy, stressed, and strung out, so introduce some games in the break room for better relaxation. When they return to work, your employees will feel rejuvenated and full of new ideas. Multiplayer games like pool, foosball, or video games will create better bonds between people and teams and boost team mentality.
Create a quiet zone
Some people, introverts especially, might prefer a more quiet time when taking a break from work. By catering to all personality types, you will make everyone feel cherished and respected. Create some booths in your break room or even add one or two power-nap cocoons, so everyone can enjoy rest and relaxation.
Let the sunshine in
While you need some protection from direct sunlight and heat, it’s best to avoid covering the windows of your break room and kitchen with heavy curtains. Allowing sunlight to illuminate the space will benefit you in many ways. Firstly, according to research, people who are exposed to sunlight are more productive and alert than their counterparts forced to spend time in windowless offices. Secondly, you will save energy on illumination and heating in the winter! Some curtains are necessary, but make sure they can easily be drawn to let the healing sunshine inside.
Set some rules
Only clean kitchens and break rooms are relaxing spaces. Unfortunately, there are always workers who leave a mess after preparing lunch or leave empty cans and coffee cups in the break room. And no one wants to clean someone else’s mess! Be a stern boss and set some etiquette rules for kitchen and break room use. Filthy break areas will cost you a lot of money in cleaning and might even start drama among workers—you don’t need either of those.
Your workers are what keeps your company successful and profitable, so make sure to show your appreciation with a comfy break room and kitchen. Creating these spaces will cost you money, but thanks to improved morale, focus, productivity, and job satisfaction, they will be more than worth the investment!