Do your employees get tired and hit the 3.00PM slump? Adding an office break room into your office space is an effective way to combat this. Just like your workspace setup, break areas require a range of furniture to cater for different needs.
Let’s go through the key pillars of a successful, well-used break area.
A dedicated space to connect, collaborate & socialise
Many traditional, corporate offices don’t have an area to hang out in. There’s probably a kitchen – which is probably a word too generous for the facilities. Often, it’s just a small room with a fridge, microwave, and cupboards.
People go in to heat up their food and pour a glass of water, and that’s about it.
If you’d like to help foster relationships between colleagues and provide a space for them to switch off during their breaks – without having to rush to a nearby café – think about these four factors.
Give thought to where in your building you could add the break area. Is there a spot that’s easily accessible but far enough away from the workspaces? Think about proximity to the main entrance or a location that all of your team members travel to.
Your employees are probably going to want to use their phones on break. Make sure there’s adequate power sources and a Wi-Fi connection in the hang out area. Are you going to add a TV in the room? If this is going to double as a relaxed workspace, you’re going to need power outlets for laptops and AV facilities.
3. Labelling it
It’s important to set some rules for your break room. Let your team know what to expect and the things they can (and can’t) do while in there. If it’s simply an area people go to when they need to switch off from work, this is fine. But what if you have team members in there on the phone? Avoid any misinterpretation by being open to their needs.
4. Be flexible
One way of making sure your team will use the space is to ask them what they like. Don’t be afraid to change up the environment and setting every so often. Switch up the colour scheme, introduce more natural light, decorate it or add new features. If they’re using it as a workspace too, you could encourage a standing desk design – an alternative, more laid back vibe to the regular workstations.
Add as much personality as you can. Think free coffee, snacks, games, and bean bags. Let your team know that this is their space and they have the freedom to do what they want with it. Read a book, watch TV or have a chat. There’s a reason why the big names like Google and Facebook invest in a fun space that’s physically separate from the rest of the office.