Working from home has become the new normal for millions of employees. However, after nearly a year of Zoom meetings and living in pajamas, many are ready to return to the office.
Welcome your team back and celebrate your revived social lives by surprising everyone with a new breakroom. Ideally, your employees will be taking short breaks every 75 to 90 minutes, so you’ll want to create an inviting place where they actually want to spend time. Here are a few ways you can do just that.
1. Encourage Rest
Most bosses frown upon sleeping on the job. Yet, sleep — and even taking midday naps — can boost productivity and help employees feel more alert throughout the workday. They also give employees’ eyes, back and brain a much-needed break so they can return to work feeling better and more focused than ever.
In an effort to embrace siestas, many companies are adding sleep pods to the breakroom. These comfortable chairs feature a visor to block out light and sound so you can catch some z’s. An ergonomic design provides relief to your lower back and props up your feet to increase blood flow while you snooze.
2. Create a Peaceful Atmosphere
Help your team completely separate themselves from work by creating a peaceful atmosphere. Swap those glaring 100-watt bulbs for some soft white or dimmable ones and place plants throughout the room. Provide art supplies, books and materials for other relaxing activities like reading, journaling and listening to music.
You can also set the mood by choosing subtle paint colors, adding minimalist decorations and separating the space from the office. Add a few comfortable couches, chairs and footrests to further promote rest and relaxation.
3. Promote Social Interaction
There’s nothing more awkward than chomping celery in a silent breakroom full of coworkers. Break the silence and help everyone get to know one another by promoting more social interaction. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by adding conversation pieces and interactive games.
Take inspiration from your entertainment room at home as you play around with design ideas and figure out what to add. In most cases, a foosball table, pool table or board games would probably suffice. However, you can always take things to the next level and encourage some friendly competition with a dartboard or pinball machine.
4. Provide Free Food
Coax employees into your brand new breakroom with the scent of toasted bagels and coffee. With free food in the office, your team simply won’t be able to resist taking a break from work for a while.
Be sure to include various healthy drinks and snacks to keep everyone happy and energized throughout the day. Foods like oranges, nuts and green tea are all great for your brain and will last at least a few weeks in the breakroom. Remember to refill snack trays, fruit bowls and the fridge when you begin running low and don’t forget to accommodate your gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian friends.
5. Ask for Input
Of course, one of the best ways to build a better breakroom is to cater to your teams’ unique interests and desires. For instance, if most would rather take a nap than converse with their buddies, you might want to add more than one sleep pod or a few more couches.
Conduct an anonymous survey and ask your team for input. What would they like to have in the break room? Is there something stopping them from enjoying the one you already have? Take their advice to heart as you brainstorm designs and integral features.
Keeping Your Employees Happy
Replacing a single employee can cost your organization two times their annual salary — if not more. Therefore, it’s crucial that you prioritize their happiness and satisfaction, even if that means spending a few thousand dollars to renovate the breakroom. Sure, the entire endeavor may seem a little frivolous. However, investing in your team in such a way will save you money in the long run and create a healthier workplace environment for everyone.
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