Your break room is where your associates congregate and take a break from work stress, so it needs to be comfortable and visually different from the rest of the working environment. To help you refresh your break room and boost employee morale we’ve outlined some of our favorite break room ideas.
Bring Outdoor Colors Into the Break Room
Blues and greens are cool, soothing colors and are often paired with neutral colors, such as navy, beige and gray, in work environments where concentration and productivity are needed. But the employee break room should have a different look and feel about it. This should be a relaxed, less tense environment, where everyone feels comfortable to laugh and talk about life outside of the office. The colors on a break room wall should be a brighter blue or green, creating a less formal atmosphere and evoking a sense of the outdoors. Rooms of sky blue and leaf green are where your staff can unwind and regroup.
Add Plants to Create Work-Place Happiness
Placing plants in your employee lounge will help your employees feel connected with the greener world just beyond their windows and doors. If the break room is small, putting just one plant on a table in the corner will be a refreshing note. Better yet, create a vertical wall of live plants, which will add a sense of the outdoors, but won’t utilize floor space. In a larger break room a vertical-green wall can be used as a room divider. Locate your social area, such as the kitchen or game area, on one side of the wall and use the opposite side as a “quiet” space where employees can sit in an overstuffed chair and read or think without distractions.
Use Art to Bring Nature into the Lounge
Instead of buying art to permanently display on the break room walls, ask employees to loan their own natured-inspired artwork or photography, or invite local artists to display their nature-themed works. Besides bringing a bit of the outdoors to your staff, this will give the artists an opportunity to let others become acquainted with their work and your company better connected to your community.
Light the Room With a Warm Glow
Most businesses and institutions use overhead light fixtures that emit a blue toned or clear, bright light in work areas, where concentration is expected. But, employee break rooms should have a softer, more golden light where the staff can feel themselves disconnecting from their work and reconnecting with a quieter, slower environment. If overhead lighting is in the lounge, counter its harsh glare by using LEDs with warm, orange-yellow tones. Under fluorescents, scatter bronze or brass table and floor lamps throughout the space. Use bulbs that give off a warm glow and choose shades with a linen or burlap texture that diffuses the light. If space is an issue, wall sconces with soft- yellow, glass shades can be an alternative.
Have Comfortable Furniture
Don’t use cast-off office furniture in the employee lounge. Let your crew know you appreciate them and supply the break room with comfy chairs and attractively- upholstered stools. Do something unique and add a rocker, a swing or a memory-foam bag chair. Include a couple of booths where small groups can gather. For staff members who want to relax with a good read, place a comfortable chair in a corner along with a small table and lamp.
A Kitchen is Always Nice
If your company is fortunate enough to have the space for a kitchen and eating area, make it inviting. Ideally, you would have a wall of cabinets to store utensils, paper products and food items. Include a refrigerator, stove and microwave where employees can store and heat their lunch. A center island with stools will encourage people to gather together and can serve as a buffet table during office parties and gatherings. For small-group seating, place a table or two, with comfortable chairs, throughout the room.
If you have a small break room, you can still offer your employees a spot where they can get something to eat. Have a few vending machines for snacks and drinks. Include an apartment-size refrigerator or and under the counter fridge where your staff can keep their lunches or drinks. Have a table or two with chairs or have a counter along the wall with comfortable stools.
Snacks and Drinks
Keep the break room supplied with a variety of coffees, teas and creamers. Stock baskets or bowls with apples, pears and granola bars. This is a wonderful way to let your employees know you care and to supply them with healthy pick-me-up snacks during the afternoon lull.