How the Office Breakroom Has Evolved
The term ‘office breakroom’ still conjures up visions of a standard-issue water cooler, a bowl of candy, and a few rogue appliances that work half the time. Staff would not opt to gather in the breakroom, but rather duck out for a cup of coffee or sandwich. Now, employers are creating awesome breakrooms that facilitate community, health, and wellbeing. Here’s a look at how the office breakroom has evolved throughout the decades.
Office Breakrooms of the 1990s
During the 1990’s, the office breakroom was usually an afterthought, pieced together with spare furniture after the entire office was designed and furnished. Breakrooms had a few tables, a vending machine, and a microwave where employees could heat up leftovers. Beige, neutral tones, and uncomfortable seating took center stage. People often worked in the city and went out for lunch or coffee breaks instead of lingering around the office. The office, and its breakroom, was not typically a fun place to hang out.
Company Culture Shifts
In the early 2000s, as the tech boom took off, companies began looking at how they could foster work-life balance and support staff wellbeing. Interior designers identified the breakroom as an untapped resource that could boost morale, wellbeing, and productivity. Designers began implementing colors that had positive psychological effects, ergonomic seating, and complimentary coffee, healthy snacks, and a place to catch up with coworkers.
Modern Office Breakroom Design
Today, the office breakroom is often used as a selling point when hiring new employees. Breakroom offerings – like free catered lunch on Fridays, locally roasted coffee, and fresh farmstand fruit – can be some of the best perks and what new hires look for when determining where they want to spend 40 hours a week.
We’re starting to see breakrooms come alive and transform into more functional living spaces where people can relax, catch up with coworkers, or even host a small meeting in a more comfortable environment. Office designers are incorporating luxury furniture, natural materials, pretty light fixtures, and greenery to create a calm space that actually gives people a break from the day’s hustle and bustle.
Cafés Become the New Norm
In addition to the new living room-style breakrooms, some employers are setting up full coffee shops. Those who really want to woo staff can provide free drinks throughout the day, whereas others may consider some sort of incentivized discount system. Curating a coffee-shop vibe allows employees to step away from their daily work environments and physically make space between work and play.
Companies looking for an office interior redesign shoulder consider creating spaces that put people first and performance second. Creating a supportive and comfortable space that allows staff to feel cared for and at ease is more likely to endear people to your company and foster performance and productivity as a result.
EON Office partners with businesses to create a comprehensive plan for stocking offices with everything they need and nothing they don’t. We can help you create a welcoming breakroom that offers tasty snacks, delicious drinks, and more. Is your office in need of a breakroom revamp? Contact us today to learn more.