March 31, 2017
Working all day without a rest is never good for productivity. Studies have shown that breaks are good for the mind and body. But is your break room fulfilling its true potential and keeping your employees happy, healthy, and motivated? Here are just a few common themes in good break rooms:
Everyone loves a freebie, and if you keep your break room stocked with specific superfoods, you can encourage your employees to eat healthier at no cost to them. Not only will this increase their general wellness and mood, but it can also decrease those dreaded post-lunch sugar crashes.
Design your break room to look different from the rest of the building. It doesn’t matter if it’s colored walls, zany furniture, an open-air floor plan or just windows that are thrown open instead of tightly sealed. The most important thing is that the room offers a change in atmosphere as soon as your employees cross the threshold.
Give your employees a way to relieve the tension that they’ve been carrying around from their various tasks and deadlines. Think about things like stress balls, pool tables, playing cards, and trivia games. Avoid crossword puzzles or anything with the potential to become frustrating.
Caffeine has legitimate health benefits for the modern worker, including increased energy, longer attention spans, and better short-term memory retention. Invest in a high-quality coffeemaker to deliver these brain-boosting features in addition to a good old-fashioned cup of joe. You can also get fancy with espresso machines if you feel like spoiling your people a little.
Do your employees actually talk to each other in the break room? If the answer is no, your interior design may be to blame. Things like a wall-mounted microwave will keep people’s backs turned instead of giving them the space and line of sight to chat with their fellow workers while their food is cooking.
In the same vein as open communication, if you want your employees to talk, laugh, gossip, network and connect, it can help to provide them with built-in conversation starters. For example, you might stick an announcement board on the wall so that everyone can discuss the new dress code together or make carpool plans for the corporate barbecue.
The ideal break room is a comfortable place filled with chairs, pillows, couches, and ottomans. Give your employees a chance to put their feet up. If you need inspiration, look at how hospitals and other high-stress environments model their break rooms to get a better idea of what you need.
First Aid Supplies
This is especially important for warehouses. If your building isn’t equipped with the band-aids and disinfecting creams that your employees need for minor cuts and burns, they’ll have to leave the premises to get them, and that means increased chances of lateness and lost time. Keep a first-aid kit in the break room so that your employees will have no reason to go.
Speaking of lost time, you can drastically reduce late punch-ins by installing prominent timekeeping devices around the break room. Make sure that your employees are always aware of what time it is and how long they have left for their break.
“Color psychology” uses the color wheel to invoke particular moods and feelings. For example, yellow is instinctively seen as a homey hue while light blues are soothing and good for your blood pressure. Do some research into color psychology to help you deck your break room in the right shades.
Break rooms are more than just a place of leisure. They’re somewhere that your employees can relax and rejuvenate themselves in order to face the rest of the work day with a smile. If you’re serious about increasing productivity around the office, start with the break room.
Read more about workplace productivity here on Tech.Co
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