The break room is becoming increasingly more important in an office, as work environments are now more relaxed, and impromptu meetings are very likely to happen in the break room. This is the space where employees can connect, collaborate, and celebrate in one spot – which means a lot can be happening here at any given time. So how do you create a space that fosters these kinds of activities? Here are 4 tips to designing the right break room.
1. Location: The break room should be located at a spot in your building that will generate activity by allowing employees to easily pop in and out throughout their work day. Next to the main entrance, a central intersection, or a well-traveled spot are good examples of great locations for the break room.
2. Change it up: The break room/café can become an alternative work space for many employees, and because of this you want it to offer variety. Some people might just need a change of scenery every so often, and they’ll find it in your well-designed break room. Maybe you want to use an entirely different color scheme than the rest of the office. This room should have access to natural light, and should be a flexible environment. You can include café tables large enough for laptops, or go all out and add small work stations right into the break room to accommodate mobile workers. The combination of workstations next to lunch tables and the company coffee spot will create the versatility a break room should have.
3. Don’t forget technology: For your employees to feel comfortable & enjoy working in the break room, it will need to support their work habits. It probably goes without saying that you’ll need wi-fi and cellphone service, but charging stations and larger monitors with quick connect capabilities are a must-have as well.
4. Awareness: If you want employees to use the space how you intended, make sure they know that! Announce the capabilities of your break room to your staff to ensure they know what they can accomplish there and when they can use the space. Encourage key staff to use the room for a few meetings to lead by example.
Here’s what our new break room looks like. Ours includes booths for eating or working, a long table for collaborative meetings, high top seating, and lounge seating for casual conversations.