Affordable ways to improve your office break room

When it comes to concocting a pleasant workplace atmosphere, the first area you should concentrate on would certainly be the break room.

Although this place may seem insignificant at first, or at least not as significant as the cubicle or some other work station environment, it is precisely in break rooms that employees can mingle with each other, forge friendships, and bring the effectiveness level of the whole company on an entirely different level.

You see, working with people that all know each other well and that can work like clockwork when you need them to surely beats working with a disorganized bunch of folks who just want to go home as soon as the clock strikes five. (If it’s a nine-to-five job we’re talking about, of course.)

Now, the thing about break rooms is that you aren’t just randomly awarded one every time you buy or rent a building for your workspace. A break room will only exist in the first place if you create it – which is what makes it an even more special place.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how you improve your office break room (we’re assuming you already designated an area to be used as a break room but haven’t got around to decorating it), so that you’ll employees will look forward to sitting there and having a chat every day. As you will see, you don’t need heaps of money to make this happen, as all you need is a small initial investment, some creativity, and a willingness to talk to your employees about what their ideas for this purpose might be.

Right then folks, without further ado, here’s the deal.

Employee lockers

A wee place to call your own within your company can mean a lot for an employee.

The thing is, no matter how computer-oriented the job position is, most employees will still arrive at work with something or the other in their hands, purses, and backpacks.

Whether it’s a jar of some sort of greenish cleansing juice they drink regularly, a laptop, a laptop bag, and other peripheries, or even their favorite action figuring set from home that inspires them – providing them with sufficient space to store these items, so they can whip them out whenever they need is surely going to be a plus in their book when it comes to how they regard you as an employer.

So, installing a sufficient number of employee lockers can be a way to instantly improve the break room situation without even touching on the décor part of the deal.

Outdoor sitting arrangements

Outdoor sitting arrangements may seem like a simple enough idea, but here’s the rub – many offices are built in such a way that getting access to a patch of well, outdoors, is impossible without walking a long distance from the office.

Therefore, it’s important to get a bit creative here.

Office breakroom
Photo: Cadeau Maestro, Pexels

The goal is to allow your employees to breathe in the fresh air and be in the open, so even if it’s a large balcony with some chairs and a table, it can do the job fairly well. If you happen to have a small patch of outdoors within the buildings itself (the way they do in Parks and Recreation), you can utilize that by installing some chairs or benches, a couple of other useful amenities, and then place a gazebo there, too, or an awning in case it starts raining.

Spending time outdoors, in general, is a dopamine booster for humans (especially for humans working in an office), so what better way to make their breaks properly battery-recharging than to organize them outdoors.

Snack Dispensers

Other than craving for sunlight, meaningful communication with one another, and a break from work, your employees will also crave snacks.

No human is immune to some well-placed and energy-refilling snacks, so if you want to make your employees look forward to the breaks, installing a snack dispenser somewhere inside the building (preferably within the break room) can be one more way to make the place way more inviting, so to speak.

Of course, as for the snacks themselves, we aren’t saying there should be typical unhealthy snacks. Instead, we consider a ‘snack’ anything that can be consumed quickly and that can restore your energy.

So, if your company has some sort of get-fit policy as they do in Japan, for example, you can install vending machines where your employees can buy organic products or diet beverages. The choice is entirely up to you what you put in these.

Coffee & Tea Machines

More on the topic of workplace food & drink situation, the more of vending machines and other food and drink installations you place within the sacred area of a break room, so to speak, the more employees are going to flock there when the clock spells ‘break time’.

During the summer, a bunch of coolers or a versatile ice machine where your employees can pick up ice-cold tea or some other beverage and quench their thirst can be a lifesaver. Also, if it’s winter, a lineup of attractive hot beverages can be all you need to make your employees group up together and have a team-building chat and potentially discuss some monumental ideas for the future of your company.

All in all, creating a special area for your employees that they can call their own and having them all spend some quality time together there during each break is what makes team stronger, more durable, and more internally connected. The bottom line, improving your office break room is all about listening to your employees’ needs, making sure their food & drink needs are met, and that they have a little bit of space on their own at the end of the day.

Mia Ackerson
Mia Ackerson
Mia Ackerson is a Melbourne-based writer. Loves writing about office decoration, home decoration, and home improvement. She’s also interested in reading books, movies, music, baking, and gardening. You can follow her on twitter.
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