5 Things Every Employee Break Room Needs

a photo showing an open space with things every employee breakroom needs

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No matter how old your business, keeping your employees happy is just as important as the clients.

According to a study by Tork, nearly 90% of employees believe that they feel more refreshed after taking an actual lunch break.

This is even with 38% of them thinking they’re viewed as less hardworking when taking one!

Below are 5 things your employee break room needs to make your staff feel hardworking, inspirational, and productive.

1. Updated Kitchen Space

It can be easy to ignore since a lot of the time employees will likely bring food from home. Create a break room kitchen that is inviting but clean. It will not only allow your employees to feel more inclined to take a break but will make it easier for you to track breaks and attendance as your business starts to take off.  

Make sure to include a water cooler, microwave, and fridge if you have the space. This will give employees a secondary room that can be used as a mini sanctuary. This is important to have away from the sales floor. 

Another great addition that is becoming more and more common is including healthy snacks. This is important alongside any other suggested features your employees might ask for. Providing snacks will encourage your employees to take a much-needed break. It can also provide that extra boost of energy to get them through their day.

The post-lunch slump is real, so this extra boost can make the day more productive. Think of it like an extra perk of the business, something that a lot of other smaller companies may not provide their employees.

2. A Better Bathroom

In a lot of smaller businesses, the employee bathroom will also double as the customer or client restroom. Especially then, the bathroom must maintain the same type of aesthetic as your business. 

If you have the room for it, consider replacing your bathroom vanity with something a little bit more upscale. It can not only provide your employees with a sanctuary during busy hours but impress clients as well.

Having a vanity with storage allows a place for employees to store personal items. It also provides a place to set out sanitary products for visitors to utilize to freshen up – after all, amenities can go a long way! This can seem like a small change, but can truly affect attitude in the workplace.

With the unprecedented times we currently face, having a place to store sanitation items is key.  Along with personal items, it’s a great way to keep your space clean while still providing for your employees. Be sure to also include a diaper changing station, per ADA guidelines

This is a small addition but will be necessary if your customer-facing bathroom doubles as your employee bathroom. If you only have an employee restroom, it might be a smart add-on just in case a situation arises for a needed change. 

3. Recognition and Appreciation

While your employees will appreciate your day-to-day “thanks for your help!” statements, it’s important to also recognize them publicly.

According to Great Places to Work, 37% of employees said when personally recognized they feel more encouraged to do better work. This same study showed that recognition can make promotions seem 2.6 times more fair in employees’ eyes.

They are also more likely to be able to describe the workplace positively. 

If you don’t have the physical space to create something to recognize your employees, use a team communication platform. This allows not only for employers to praise their employees but also the other way around. It can allow you to communicate with those who are scheduled to work along with those who aren’t in one place. 

The platform also lets employees rate their shifts, give feedback on how their day went, and in turn will help prevent turnover in your company. This is a perfect example of a little going a long way and showing you care, a key component in retaining your employees. 

4. Bring the Outdoors In

A lot of employee break rooms tend to not have windows, so it’s important to feel like there is some sort of sanctuary in your workplace.

Make it seem like a different space; change the color of the walls to create differentiation. Your employees can disconnect from the workplace if they feel like the space is separated. Creating this disconnect allows your employees to come back to work fully refreshed. 

Adding plants will also help increase productiveness as well as create an oasis while at work. When adding in a handful of houseplants, productivity can increase by over 15% and can help with memory retention.

A study conducted in 2015 shows that break rooms and workplaces that have natural elements have employees with better well being scores. This, in turn, can help prevent absences by keeping everyone healthy!

5. Storage, Specifically Lockers

Stress can stem from a messy surroundings, even in your personal life. Take the time to clean surfaces and remove items that may be seen as visually distracting. This can help keep a workplace serene.

Add in some storage space, such as employee lockers, to help clean up the rest of your breakroom. This will also give them a place to easily store their items that aren’t affected by the rest of the working environment. 

If you don’t have a ton of space, use a labor-management app. Schedule your employees so that the storage or locker space you’ve created can be used by multiple employees throughout the day.

Providing something as simple as a coat rack can also offer a space for employees to leave their external belongings. Having the unnecessary clutter without storage can also lower health and safety standards, so make sure you’ve created a secure space to help maintain a healthy environment. 

While the front-facing part of the business is key to revenue, it’s important that your employees are just as happy as your customers and clients.

Your employee break room is just as vital to a healthy workplace as your customer-facing areas. Just like a clean space is parallel to a clean and organized mind, it truly can create a more productive, safe, and healthy work environment.

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