How to Design a Welcoming Break Room That Naturally Builds ProductivityJune 14, 2019
A break room can be many things—a conversation hub, an eatery, an entertainment center, to name just a few. Break rooms aren’t, however, typically known for their productivity. After all, this is where people go to get away from work for a while.
But it’s also where people gather, so why not take advantage of this natural meeting space to foster some good vibrations between team members?
Creating a relaxing atmosphere where people can talk and exchange ideas builds camaraderie, trust, and an inclination to collaborate. These tips can help you create the perfect space to design a cohesive team without them even knowing it!
Above all, a break room should be an escape from the office while never leaving the building! Create a welcoming space that accommodates people eating lunch, grabbing a snack, or decompressing for a few minutes. The ideal break room is distinct from the rest of the office and allows team members to relax, recharge, and connect with others.
This may be the only space where members from different departments converge, so create areas where employees can engage. Cushy couches and arm chairs around a coffee table make a great space to enjoy a snack or drink while chatting with co-workers.
Intimate seating encourages conversation. Provide bistro-style tables and chairs or chic counter seating with high stools near the kitchen, and be sure to include break-room must-haves, like a microwave, refrigerator, and a place to store coffee mugs, plates, and bowls.
An inviting space away from work features comfortable seating, warm colors and cool design elements like paintings or artwork. Windows can be adorned with curtains, and floors can be outfitted with mats. Choose a coffee-house theme or attractive motif to make your area feel more like a distinctive space and less like an institutional break room with mismatched furniture. Accent the room with plants and flowers that promote relaxation and conversation.
Providing complimentary snacks and beverages like cold brewed teas, healthy energy-inducing granola and of course, the office staple, quality coffee, can entice team members to leave their cubicles and join co-workers for a break. Depending on your budget, provide essentials such as napkins and silverware, as well as extras like honey, sugar and cream.
Stream music into your break room to create a relaxing ambience. Depending on your company vibe, classical, soft rock, or contemporary music may be appropriate. Music is great background noise (so long as it’s not too loud or distracting), and always helps fill in awkward silence. Music is also mood inducing! Find a happy medium to make the space fun or relaxing, so it’s not dentist-office dull, but also not night-club noisy.
Strategically Placed Device Charging Stations
Offer a small area where people can charge their phones, tablets and other devices-away from the hub of the communal area! The last thing you want to encourage is isolation and distraction by enabling people to be on their devices. Consider a device-free zone with a charging station nearby the break room or in a corner.
Change It Up!
Accent the break room with decorations that reflect the season, like snowflakes for winter, flowers in spring. Fun themes between seasons make the same space feel different, while emphasizing to team members that their presence is welcome.
Make It Easy
Overall, make a welcoming space that allows your team to easily retreat for lunch, a snack, or a brain break by providing as many thoughtful extras as possible. Salt and pepper on the tables, dish soap and a drying rack on the kitchen counter, or flavored coffee syrups provide the little, yet important things people don’t want to have to bring from home. A well-stocked break room that’s convenient, comfortable, and cozy encourages staff to eat in, allowing for conversation that leads to trust and camaraderie.
Design your break room to be the hub for team members to gather and socialize! The experts at Nolt’s Furniture can help create the break room for your staff. Stop by our showroom for a free consultation!