By law, all employees need to take breaks when their shift is more than 3 hours. Even if your employees work a regular 9-5 day, they should still take regular breaks from their desk. Since most people will not have time to go home on a thirty-minute break, it is important that they have somewhere comfortable to relax before they head back to work. Google and other Silicon Valley tech firms have a reputation for creating over-the-top break rooms, but even if you don’t want to install a ball pit or slide, there is plenty you can do to design a relaxing, enjoyable space for your employees.
Light, Bright and Cheerful
Nobody will want to spend time in a dull as dishwater room with flickering fluorescent lighting and décor that would look more at home in the state penitentiary. Think cheerful, fun and bright when checking paint charts. Blues, greens, and yellows are all cheerful, fun colors. By all means, choose a color palette that is in keeping with your company brand, but stay away from reds and purples, as these are aggressive colors that do not promote relaxation.
Seating needs to be comfortable, with plenty of choices depending on what a person wants to do. Take a look at big chain coffee shops for inspiration. There you will see a varied selection of tables and chairs for people who want to eat, comfortable sofas for those who want chill, and even a large bean bag or two for anyone who feels like settling down in a corner with a magazine or games console.
A break room needs a defined area for employees who want to eat. This section of the room should include some tables and chairs. Bistro tables are a good choice as they don’t take up too much room and can be moved around to create extra space if needs be. Bench tables also work well, especially in larger spaces where you are likely to have large numbers of people eating at any one time.
Don’t forget to provide refreshments for your employees. Free coffee and tea are a must-have for any break room. Install a hot drinks machine and a small refrigerator for fresh milk. You should also install a second refrigerator for people to store their snacks and lunch boxes. A separate kitchen area, with a microwave and sink, is essential. A dishwasher will also be useful, as it cuts down on the mess. Ideally, employ a housekeeper to keep the area clean and tidy.
Entertainment options are good, as they help employees cope with stress. Hang a TV on the wall and leave it running on a news channel, or use it to screen major sporting fixtures. A games console, pin ball machine, or retro games are all fun to play in short bursts. If there is room, you could even bring in a pool table!
Ask your employees what they want before spending money on a refit. It’s the easiest way of pleasing the majority.