If you are planning to include a break room in your office design, then be assured that this is a smart decision. Indeed, far more than just “nice-to-haves,” break rooms are strategic investments that have been shown to improve employee productivity, quality, performance, engagement, and even recruitment and retention.
Yet with this being said, it is also true that not all break rooms are created equal. Some are optimized and functional, while others are dreary — and maybe even dreadful; typically because the space is messy, crowded, uncomfortable, inconvenient, or perhaps even unsafe.
Obviously, you want to ensure that the break room in your office design is a profitable asset vs. a costly liability. To help make this happen, here are 3 best practices to keep in mind:
1. Ensure that it is actually used for breaks.
At first glance, this may hardly seem like advice. After all, aren’t break rooms inherently spaces where employees take breaks? Not necessarily!
Many break rooms start out as places where employees can relax, restore and recharge, but they soon become yet another work area where laptop and tablet-toting employees go to work, hold meetings, and even meet customers, vendors, suppliers and so on.
As such, establish and (especially!) enforce the concept that the break room is indeed just that: a room for employees to take breaks. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time before you will need to design a new break room, or deal with the adverse consequences of having one in theory, but not in practice.
2. Make it unique and different.
Break rooms are the perfect opportunity within an otherwise consistent and standardized office design to break the mold and create some differentiation — which ultimately encourages employees to “switch mental channels” when they enter the space and truly experience it as a break room vs. an extension of the office.
For example, the break room in a hospital might have a garden or nature theme, complete with sky-blue ceilings, plants, waterfalls, and so on. Or the break room in an insurance company might be styled like a “homey” den, with comfortable couches, big screen TVs, electric fireplaces, and so on.
3. Provide healthy options.
It does not matter how rested employees are (or want to be) when the enter a break room, if five minutes later they are chomping down on a second company-supplied jelly donut. Instead of being energized, they will be sluggish and sleepy.
Send the right message — i.e. that you care about your people and their wellbeing — by stocking your break room with healthy food and drink options, like filtered water, fruits, trail mix, herbal teas, and so on.
To learn more about creating the ideal break room in your office design — which is one that supports your employees while it improves your bottom-line — contact Key Interiors today. Your consultation with us is free.
Also, be sure to check out our FREE eBook to find out whether an open and collaborative office design is right for your business: