With the holidays just around the corner, you might be starting to think about office parties, gift exchanges, sharing thanks, and more. It’s important to have a place in an office where the team can gather and spend time together outside of their daily tasks. After all, having an atmosphere where staff can engage in team bonding, have fun, and relax can help to boost both employee satisfaction and engagement at work.

Here at Open Mind Interiors, we wanted to provide you with some tips for what to consider when creating a break room for your office – just in time to make this holiday season at work the best one yet!

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The Essentials

A great break room will be a place that your employees look forward to spending time in during their free time. With many employees returning from home, a comfortable break room is one of the perks employees can look forward to upon their return to the office. Ideally, the break room serves multiple purposes for your team – giving them a space to eat, socialize, decompress, and relax. To find out exactly how you can meet your staff’s needs, it may be useful to discuss and collaborate with them on what their “dream” break room includes. Different types of workplace settings and cultures could lead your team to prioritize specific things over others.

Make the most out of your social spaces by giving each area a unique function to divide your break room into sections, with various seating options serving different purposes for employees. For example, your break room could include a section with tables and benches for when your coworkers want to spend time together, but also an area with individual couches or hammocks for when team members would prefer time to themselves to lounge (or to even squeeze in a quick power nap!). Your team works hard, and deserves areas to unwind during their break times. What about adding a pool table or foosball table for added fun and team building!

At Open Mind Interiors, we offer a diverse variety of Panels and Dividers that can help to not only divide up space efficiently, but also provide sound separation and privacy. Through this, your employees are given greater choice in how they can spend their break time while at work. To take it a step further, you could even use colour and fabrics to create a unique mood in each area. Whatever your team’s needs, we can help in making it a reality!

Including basic kitchen appliances and tools can also greatly improve your team’s breaktime experience. A coffee station, fridge, and microwave at minimum provides your team with the ability to have a warm lunch to keep themselves energized. A kitchenette or kitchen in your office also provides employees with the opportunity for greater variety in their eating choices. It’s also very useful to have a kitchen space in your office for when you organize your next team lunch, office party, or holiday potluck!

Being thoughtful in developing spaces that cater to your team will let your coworkers know that you care about them, and hold importance in ensuring that they have a good experience while at work.

Keeping Your Team Energized and Healthy

Another great, thoughtful way to show your staff that you care is by providing them with complimentary beverages and snacks in the break room. A stocked coffee and tea station can motivate your staff to stay in the office when they are in need of a caffeine boost, creating more opportunities for team socializing and bonding. A stocked snack bar can also help employees fulfill their mid-day cravings, and fuel them through those days that require a little extra brain power.

A great idea for your break room’s refreshment station is to maintain a few regular drinks and snacks, but then also keep things fresh through introducing a weekly new food or beverage. Perhaps your office can offer a weekly new coffee blend, pastry, or healthy snack – this way, your team can try new things together, and maybe even discover new favourites! Little activities like this can really help to develop your workplace’s culture while also increasing engagement.

A way to help motivate your staff to engage in healthy habits is by introducing a small work-out station in your breakroom. Even including a couple exercise balls, jump ropes, and yoga mats can aid in re-energizing your staff after long periods of sitting down in one place. If you have the room, a stationary bike or two could also be a unique way to encourage some physical activity in the workplace!

picture of break room with meal spread

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A Place to Develop Workplace Culture

While the break room can be a great representation of the office’s values, it can also be a great space for employees to show off their own personalities. Creating opportunities for your staff to connect and find shared interests can positively affect their satisfaction in the workplace overall.

Here are some fun ideas to consider for your breakroom:

  • Alongside your coffee and tea station, create “mug cubbies” where staff can bring in and store a mug that best represents them. This can help coworkers learn a little bit more about each other, and gives them the opportunity to make a small part of the break room their own. It can also help keep the break room organized, and ensures that there’s never a shortage of cups!
  • Include a whiteboard with different coloured markers where you can display weekly riddles, trivia, mad libs, word scrambles, drawing contests, and more. This can lead to some playful banter and fun competition between staff members. Perhaps you can even include some small prizes!
  • Add a bookshelf in the breakroom that includes not only informative, work-related literature, but also a “book exchange” area for coworkers to share their favourite recent reads.
  • Create a picture wall or bulletin board where staff can look back on memories of past office parties, workplace outings, and celebrate team accomplishments. It can even be a place for coworkers to share their cute pet photos, which is always a treat!
  • Encourage relaxation and fun! Consider including things like board games, video games, a portable ping pong table set, a mini basketball hoop, a tv, or a speaker.

Whatever your plans are, know that we are here at Open Mind Interiors to help you through the entire process. Let us help you figure out what would best suit your office’s needs and make that vision come to life! Contact us today to set up a consultation.