Guest Blog:

7 Must-Haves for an Engaging Company Break Room

The North American business culture often prizes the idea of being constantly busy. When asking fellow coworkers how they are doing, a common response is “Busy!” Why is it that seeming busy is almost perceived as a status symbol in our workaholic lifestyle?

Working long hours on a prolonged task and expecting to stay productive the whole time is quite simply ridiculous. A study by the University of Illinois shows that workers who have one brief diversion per hour perform better than those who keep working without a break. The main reason for this is that after some time, the brain gets used to this constant stimulation and gradually numbs out the stimuli. In addition to increasing productivity, taking breaks during a workday has many other benefits including lowering stress levels, boosting creativity and enhancing well-being.

Now for the Break Room:

In most workplaces, this area is often underappreciated and underutilized. If designed and thought out properly, an engaging break room can help improve employee engagement and office culture.

Here are 7 must-haves for an engaging company break room

1. Free Coffee and Snacks

break room snacks

Free healthy snacks and coffee are fun non-monetary perks appreciated by all employees. By providing these to your employees, they will not only feel more valued but will also have a stronger sense of connection with the organization. A lot of employers are now turning to companies like Desk Nibbles who deliver boxes of healthy snacks and coffee straight to your office. This office snack delivery service allows you to personalize your order with your choice of healthy snacks which can contribute to employee health and wellness.

2. Stimulating Art

break room art

A key aspect often overlooked in the design of break rooms is that they need to be differentiated from the rest of the office. This could be anything from hanging up paintings to creating a thought-provoking mural on a wall. Deutsche Bank has a corporate art collection of 60,000 pieces across 900 offices in 40 different countries. The bank firmly believes that having art around the office inspires employees to open up their minds and shift their perspective. Even just painting the walls a different color can have psychological effects on employees.

3. Games

office games

Break rooms that have video games, Ping-Pong tables or any other type of pastime help further the differentiation between the break room and the rest of the office. This fun activity helps employees decompress during an intensive workday. Additionally, having multi-player games available in the break room encourages positive relationships among employees.

4. Comfortable Seating

break room seating

A break room must foster a relaxing and comfortable environment for employees to de-stress. Although there are benefits related to an afternoon snooze, your break room does not need to include high-tech solutions such as Metronaps’ EnergyPod (also known as the napping pod). A few comfy seating options where employees can rest and recharge should do the trick.

5. Natural Elements

break room natural elements

As human beings, we have an innate connection with natural elements. According to Cohere Sustainability, offices that have natural sunlight and greenery, such as plants, help boost worker creativity by 15%. Being exposed to the sunlight helps regulate the circadian system, which ultimately leads to an improvement in sleep quality at night. Other wonderful benefits of being exposed to natural elements are increased productivity, enhanced mood, and reduced stress levels.

6. Books and Magazines

company break room books magazines

Reading is not only a great way to enter an imaginative world for a bit but is also an excellent way to relax. A study conducted by Dr. David Lewis shows that reading silently for 6 minutes can reduce stress by 68%. Reading slows down the heart rate and eases tension in muscles. You could even follow Eighty-Eight’s lead, a creative communication agency from Toronto, by starting a book club in your workplace.

7. Request Features

Last but definitely not least. Gather employee feedback on what would make them feel more relaxed and refreshed in the break room. Having a suggestion box and implementing the most valuable ideas will demonstrate that opinions are considered. Maybe Jane’s hammock idea is a good idea after all. Maybe not. Ask and you will see.

When designed properly, a break room can significantly enrich your workplace environment. Taking a pause in one’s workday improves productivity, creativity, and focus as well as helps to substantially reduce stress. It’s always a great idea to invest in your workplace health and wellness.

author amanda steski

About Amanda Steski

Amanda Steski is a content marketer passionate about music, travel, and people. She was drawn to marketing at a young age because of a genuine curiosity about human behavior. Having spent the better part of her undergraduate and master studies living, working and studying around the world, Amanda brings a new perspective and fresh sense of creativity to her writing.

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