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Take a Break! 7 Elements to Include in a Productive Break Room

Business News Daily Editor
Business News Daily Editor

Want more productive, inspired workers? Provide them with a quality break room.

  • Some of the most important elements of having a productive break room are healthy food and drinks, a television and a library.
  • Additionally, comfortable furniture, workout equipment, and a positive, inclusive culture can also help create a productive break room.
  • Some of the benefits of having a break room are that they encourage mental health breaks, a sense of community, and they help attract new talent.

Think about how certain places affect your mood and well-being. Maybe you feel content and safe in your bedroom; perhaps you feel anxious and stressed in hospitals. Your setting might impact you more than you realize.

In the workplace, it's crucial to build an inspiring, supportive atmosphere. Every office or job site should have a specific space dedicated to downtime.

Importance of an office break room

If you are an employer wondering about the benefits of having a break room, according to Corporate Essentials, they are as follows:

  • A break room encourages mental health breaks. One of the top benefits of having a break room in the workplace is that they encourage mental health breaks. Without mental health breaks, employees can become exhausted, burnt out, stressed out and can develop a negative attitude.

  • It fosters a sense of community. If your company does not have a break room, there is no place for your employees to unwind and get to know each other. However, having a sense of community is one of the most important elements of having a cohesive workplace.

  • It can help attract new talent. Another benefit of having a break room is that they can attract younger and new talent. While a break room may not seem to be a big deal, millennials, who represent a demographic that is quickly taking over the working world, are likely to appreciate having a comfortable place to take breaks.

  • A break room helps promote innovation. Without a breakroom, your company does not have a place in which your employees can meet to discuss what’s working, what isn't and develop ideas to fix the latter.

"Today's workforce works extremely hard, putting in long hours that often spill into our home lives," said Jonathan Proffitt, senior director of global real estate and facilities for Kronos Incorporated. "People need a place to decompress at work, both physically and mentally. To do that effectively, the space should look and feel different from the rest of the office to distinguish it as a place to relax, rewind and collaborate with colleagues."

Here are some important elements to include in a productive break room.

1. Healthy food and drinks

Your office break room should always be stocked with an array of healthy options. You want to ensure you're providing your employees with ingredients that promote energy and wellness. Set out fresh fruit for an afternoon snack, purchase a water filter, and offer guilt-free snacks like nuts or parfaits.

And, of course, don't forget the caffeine. "Coffee keeps the workforce stimulated and has been a bonding hub since the dawn of the office building," said Proffitt.

2. Television

While it might seem like watching TV should be discouraged in the workplace, it's actually a stress reliever in moderation. Proffitt said that having a TV in the break room allows employees to unwind without obsessing over their impending workload. Certain shows may even bring employees together, establishing common ground.

"[TVs] can help you stem unplanned absenteeism while building camaraderie during must-see events like March Madness, the World Cup, Olympics and major news milestones by encouraging company watch parties during work hours," he said.

3. Library

If you'd like to include a more productive option than TVs, consider lining the room with bookshelves, loaded with books of all genres. You're never too old or settled in your career to learn something new or escape into a fictional story. 

4. Comfortable furniture

Invest in couches or seating that isn't stiff like typical desk chairs. Workers will feel more relaxed and relieved from muscle tension while resting on cushioned benches and soft furniture, kicking their feet up.

5. Workout equipment

On the other hand, some employees might prefer getting active on their breaks. Physical activity boosts cognitive stimulation, which helps workers feel more motivated to complete tasks and projects while promoting health and wellness. Provide equipment like a treadmill, light weights and yoga mats for your employees. 

6. Taste of the outdoors

Nature often has a positive impact on the mind and body, making you more alert and inspired. Allow natural lighting and fresh air in through a cracked window or two, and include some vegetation to This will help workers feel psychologically and physically healthier while sparking creativity and inspiration, improving their moods.

7. Positive and inclusive culture

While the physical aspects of your break room are essential, don't forget the overall feel of the space. The area should be welcoming and personal to all workers, meaning everyone should have an equal say in the layout and elements.

"It's also critically important that managers set a good example of taking time to use the amenities and bond with staff as well," said Proffitt. "After all, high engagement and high performance are not mutually exclusive – in fact, we believe one drives the other."

Image Credit: shironosov / Getty Images
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