There are many reasons to offer a beautiful, comfortable break room in an office environment. With many people teleworking, eating at their desks, and spending less time around the water cooler, an enticing break room can bring face time and vital interaction back into the office as well as improving morale. Here is a checklist as well as some tips for creating an affordable, functional breakroom that will enhance your working life.
Break Room Basics Checklist
These items are necessary for a basic, well-functioning break room.
- Tables: Choose options that are easy to arrange in different configurations and the room will be more versatile.
- Chairs: Plastic or metal chairs that are easy to clean are best- and why not try bright colors?
- Storage: Whether cabinets, caddies, or movable sets of drawers, you will need to keep your break room organized and efficient.
- Counter Space: An area away from the tables for food preparation is essential.
- Sink: The best break room is a clean break room. You will need a sink to provide water as well as to wash dishes and utensils.
- Refrigerator with freezer/ice maker
- Coffee pot with hot water spout
- Paper towels
- All purpose cleaning solution
- Dish soap and sponge
- Trash Can
Food & Beverages
- Coffee & Tea
- Coffee filters
- Coffee stirrers
- Dinnerware supplies- plates, bowls, spoons, etc.
- Tupperware or plastic bags for food storage
- Coffee mugs/glasses for guests
How to Begin
- Find Space A separate room is ideal, but if space is at a premium, start with a simple divided-off area (out of view from customers) where employees can get away from their desk to eat their lunch away or just to relax. This can easily be accomplished by setting up a cubicle in the back of the room (or using portable room dividers) and including a table and chairs. If you are fortunate enough to have a separate room to use as a break room, the design possibilities are endless! You may get in touch with our furniture department to learn more about the best types of break room tables and seating for your office.
- Put Someone in Charge It is important to designate one or two people to be in charge of restocking and checking up on the break room. While group effort should be used to keep the area clean and organised, there should be someone to contact if anything goes wrong or runs out.
- Establish Kitchen Convenience If you have the space and money, create a break room with the convenience and coziness of your home kitchen. In addition to the dining area, add a kitchen sink so employees can rinse lunch dishes and easily clean up spills. Add a refrigerator, freezer and microwave- this will encourage employees to bring their lunches which is healthier and more cost effective. Water coolers, coffee pots, disposable dinnerware supplies (paper plates, napkins, utensils, etc.), and vending machines are nice extra touches. Establish basic break room etiquette rules to keep your break room clean, stocked, and free of moldy, unidentifiable food!
- Set the Mood In addition to serving as a dining room, a break room should be a place where employees can escape from the noise and stress of work. They should leave the area feeling re-energized, re-charged, and ready to tackle their next project. Paint the room a bright, cheery color that is different from the rest of the office motif to help change the scenery. Hang a bulletin board to post company announcements and memos and for employees to post personal signs and ads. Provide or ask employees to donate reading material like newspapers and magazines.
- Provide Food for Thought Providing food and beverages for your employees is a quick way for employees to boost their energy during the workday. Place them in a basket or container for employees to purchase using the honesty system, or if you are really feeling generous and you have the funds, pull out all the stops and provide free snacks and beverages for your employees! Just stocking a few bulk containers of snacks can make a big impression on your employees. Don’t forget to include healthy options like fruit or granola- remember that everyone spends most of the day at a desk and unhealthy snacks can be a terrible temptation.
- Be the Host with the Most If you often have clients or guests visiting the office, make sure you have some nice dishes and utensils for their use as well as fresh snacks and beverages.
Hopefully you now have some ideas for creating a fun space for employees to eat and socialize- but don’t stop there! Be creative and collect ideas from employees on what they would like to have available.