Negosentro| Changes You Can Make To Improve Your Employees’ Breaks | Your employees are your most valuable asset. They work hard for your company, so they deserve relaxing breaks that serve to refresh them for the remainder of their workday. A break at work doesn’t necessarily always feel like a break, though (e.g., when a colleague walks by the breakroom and stops to ask you a “quick” work question).
Employees need a place to get away without having to go off-premises. These days, all the food delivery services available make it easier than ever to stay at work for meal breaks. Your employees just need to be reassured that they can get away from their workplace and job responsibilities for that time. There are numerous ways to give your employees some more enjoyable time off each day that will help them unwind and recharge.
Keep the Area Well-Equipped
If you prefer your employees to stay on-premises for their breaks, provide several options to keep food fresh and prepare it. Make sure your break room is well-equipped with appliances such as a refrigerator, microwave, toaster oven and coffee maker.
Keep the Area Well-Maintained
No one enjoys spending time in a room with crumbs on the counters or tables or trying to cook in a dirty microwave. It’s also disappointing to have your heart set on a good cup of coffee just to find that the coffee maker is broken or you’re out of sugar. Ensure that the breakroom and its appliances are well-maintained with everything well-stocked, in working order and clean. If your building has a problem with hard water, you might want to consider installing a water softener. Encourage your employees to clean up after themselves by keeping cleaning supplies easily accessible.
Create a Pleasant Atmosphere
Design your breakroom to be a relaxing and uplifting atmosphere. Create a space that looks different from the rest of the office; employees will enjoy feeling like they have stepped out of the office. Being around cheerful wall colors like blue, yellow and orange on their breaks can revitalize your employees to get through the workday. Nice decorations, live plants and fresh flowers are a few more elements that can significantly boost a room’s character.
Incorporate Natural Lighting
Natural lighting can improve employee well-being, both physically and mentally. It’s also nice to get in some sunlight, whether outside or inside, at some point during the day. If your break room doesn’t have natural lighting, consider adding lights that simulate natural lighting and produce the same effects (e.g., boosting vitamin D levels and lowering symptoms of depression).
Build a Media Library
Create a small library by adding bookshelves that hold books, magazines and other media that your employees might find interesting and enjoyable. Putting a lot of industry-specific information can inspire your employees to keep up with and learn more about your industry. Encourage everyone to contribute to the library by sharing things they enjoy with others. It’ll give your employees a chance to disconnect from their smartphones and other electronic devices for a while.
Provide Free Healthy Snacks
Research has shown that healthy snacks make for happier, more creative and more engaged employees. Design a snack bar in your break room with healthy snacks that can provide employees a pick-me-up whenever they need one. Offering free snacks can be a great employee perk that will significantly impact your employees but won’t cost the company a great deal of money to provide. Include some protein bars, nuts, jerky, fresh fruit and raw veggies.
Design a Coffee Station
It seems that most people love a hot cup of coffee, especially in the mornings. Many people would swear that coffee is the only thing that gets them through each morning and maybe even keeps them productive throughout the day. Add a coffee station to your break room with a few different kinds of coffee, sugar, various creamer flavors, and other toppings such as cinnamon. You could also make your employees feel appreciated by getting them custom mugs for office use. Bring in pastries or have employees rotate bringing in pastries or other breakfast items. Maybe include some juice for the people who don’t drink coffee.
Make the Area Comfortable
Comfortable seating can be a game-changer when you’re taking a break from sitting at your desk for half the day. Adding couches, bean bag chairs, sleep pods or other casual seating will allow your employees to rest for a little while.
Add a TV
Adding a TV to your breakroom can be a good addition as long as it isn’t distracting to the rest of the office. Add a streaming service like Netflix to entertain your employees as they’re trying to escape work for a while. It seems that everyone is binge-watching some shows these days, so it can be a bonding experience for your employees. They might even arrange some fun after-work events around them.
Create Some Quiet Spaces
Some people would rather spend breaks getting some peace and quiet rather than socializing. Create some quiet spaces for those employees. Everyone will probably benefit from these spaces at some point since they’re also great on incredibly stressful days. It helps some people to practice mindfulness and meditation to manage their stress. Try creating a quiet area with comfortable seating, dim lighting and even calming scents such as lavender.
Make a Community Wall
Dedicate a wall in the breakroom as a place employees feel free to post pictures from work-related events like fun days at the office or team outings. They can also post funny quotes, memes or comics. It’s also an ideal space to recognize specific employees by posting awards or achievements they receive.
Add Some Exercise Equipment
If you have enough space in a common area, add some gym equipment such as treadmills, stationary bikes, medicine balls and yoga mats. While many people feel refreshed after a power nap, many others can be energized by aerobic activity. Giving them the means to do this in the middle of their workday means they should find it easier to power through their day.
Add Some Recreational Equipment
Recreational activities promote employee bonding. These activities can also help energize people and decrease stress. Activities that can stimulate them physically and mentally, such as board games and jigsaw puzzles, will be healthy and fun. Also, consider adding a basketball hoop or a ping pong table.
Encourage Employee Feedback
Encourage your employees to give their input for break room ideas. After all, they’ll be the main ones using it. When employees are involved in information gathering they get a better idea of the possibilities and limitations they face.
Design an Outdoor Break Area
If you have enough space outdoors, create a nice area for breaks so your employees can comfortably sit outside on nice days. Place a picnic table or some other casual seating. Have some shady areas and some areas where they can catch some rays.
All workplaces are different, varying in size and type of people. It might be impossible to accomplish most of these additions to your building, depending on the amount of free space and the company’s finances. However, employees will notice anything you do to make their lives more comfortable, and they’ll appreciate the effort. Providing some perks such as the ones listed above will go far in ensuring that you keep happy, healthy and devoted employees on board.