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breakroom design covid compliant design

Rethinking Breakroom Design: 5 Ideas for a Post-COVID World

 

breakroom design in COVID world

Breakrooms play an important role in overall office design. Breakrooms allow employees the space they need to relax, unwind, and gather themselves throughout the day. Since more and more professionals are spending long hours in the office, having a quality breakroom is increasingly vital for growing companies. Of course, breakrooms are also places associated with lots of close, person-to-person interactions. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to quickly rethink their breakroom practices. (Unfortunately, COVID spread within offices has been linked to breakrooms.) Even as we enter a new (and hopefully final) phase of the pandemic, business leaders must make both short and long-term plans for their office spaces and specifically their breakroom design. Thankfully, we’re here to provide 5 quality breakroom design ideas for a post-COVID world:

Private Breakrooms

Obvious? Perhaps. Smart? We certainly think so! For the foreseeable future, many professionals will be hesitant to spend time in direct contact with other people in their work environment. This behavior may even last for years before we collectively experience a “return to normal” after COVID-19. Given that fact, it’s not a bad idea for business leaders to experiment with private break areas in their office. Alternatively, if you don’t have the extra space required to ensure everyone has an area to blow off steam, you could consider staggering employee breaks to ensure everyone has a chance to collect their thoughts alone at least once or twice during the day. 

Socially-Distanced Layout

Even under the best of circumstances, cramped and confined breakrooms are unlikely to help employees think and unwind. As such, making greater use of the space available to your business can be a fantastic way to create a safe, socially-distanced breakroom layout. Plus, spacing chairs and sofas at least six feet apart in your breakroom should allow team members to enjoy their breaks with minimal distraction from others. 

New Diversions

In the past, people may have congregated in breakrooms to converse with coworkers, check their personal email, or just kick back for a bit. Now though, individuals who used to visit the breakroom with others may find it difficult to take meaningful breaks throughout the day. To prevent employees from getting burned out at work, business leaders may consider adding certain amenities to their breakrooms to make them more palatable for the time being. For instance, installing a video game console in your breakroom could help some employees relieve stress and connect with friends online for a few minutes. Or adding a TV to your breakroom could let stressed employees chill out with one of their favorite shows. Personal interactions may be impossible to replace entirely, but adding new amenities to a breakroom can nevertheless enhance its appeal.

Virtual Lunches

For many, the breakroom also serves as a de facto cafeteria. Many employees enjoy the breakroom because it lets them snack with their coworkers and catch up with them at the same time. Considering that in-person lunches may still not be possible for office workers for some time yet –– and that many professionals have recently adopted a permanent or semi-permanent remote workspace at home –– holding virtual lunches or “snack breaks” can be a great way for business leaders to encourage camaraderie between employees. Scheduling out moments in the day for your staff to hop on a video call just to chat and shoot the breeze can actually help boost morale and, by extension, productivity

Long-Term Breakroom Design Plans

So far, we’ve touched on breakroom ideas that assume COVID-19 will play a part in the professional psyche for many months –– if not years –– into the future. Yet, it’s possible that by this time in 2022, office spaces may have returned to pre-pandemic normality. If that ends up happening, then business leaders may be well served to create large, inviting breakrooms for their employees to socialize and interact together. Odds are, people are going to crave person-to-person meetings in a post-pandemic world, so giving them more space to do just that is likely a good idea. While that may not be feasible for the next few months, breakrooms of the future could include even more communal features like dining tables, snack bars, coffee stations, and/or board games. In other words, what breakrooms look like in six months may not resemble office breakrooms in six years at all. So keep an open mind when you approach this issue. 

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we’ve partnered with businesses of all industries and sizes to create office and breakroom design plans that resonate with employees. If you’re looking to revamp your workspace setup, then contact us here for more information.