Taking a few breaks during your working days is essential to your physical and mental wellbeing. You don’t have to take my word for it; numerous scientific studies will back that statement up. Many people push themselves too hard or the working environment simply does not allow for decent breaks. The end result is counterproductive and will cause reduced results, lower quality and can even be a safety hazard.
Taking regular breaks will improve attention spans, boost productivity and allow for higher quality work. Work life balance is becoming increasingly more important and just because you are at work, does not mean you can’t find some balance during the day.
Not all breaks are created equal. It is important to remove and separate yourself from the normal work environment, including the phone and computer, and really relax. Breaks do not have to be long to be effective but it is vital that you take a few each day, in order to perform at your peak.
The best place to do that is the break room. Let’s take a look at 5 things your office break room might still be missing.
1. Differentiate the Space
The idea of a break room is to get away from the office environment so it is important that the break room looks and feels different. Use different colours, preferably relaxing subtle tones, while keeping it lively and interesting. Use your imagination and let your creativity flow, make it a fun place for staff to unwind and escape from work for a short while.
You could even incorporate a few games, especially games where guys can team up and interact. Current magazines, the daily paper and even a TV are great options to include.
2. Distract Yourselves
Try to discourage serious work discussions or ad hock meetings in the break room. The concept is to distract yourself from work for a short while and have a break from work. The discussion can rather take place later or in a different room.
Be sure to avoid too much technology in the room. The less the better. It is a break room after all.
3. Healthy Snacks and Drinks and The Best Coffee
While junk food is normally the order of the day for a workday snack, it is not ideal. The incorrect food will make you tired and sluggish, especially towards the late afternoon. Rather go for high protein energy boosting alternatives such as fresh fruit, nuts, berries and yogurt.
To drink you can have health blends or fruit juice but don’t forget the coffee. My advice, don’t compromise on the quality of the coffee. It is one of the simple pleasures of a day at the office and anyone deserving a job deserves a decent cup of coffee every now and then.
4. Functional, Flexible and Fun Furniture
Be practical while still being creative with the furniture. You want people to be able to move things around and form groups of different sizes. People need to be able to sit comfortably to eat, chat, enjoy a cup of coffee or simply relax. Mix it up with bar stools, chairs and loungers as well as a couple of tables. Beanbags have become very popular in recent years.
For a real morale booster, you can’t beat a few Shiatsu Chairs.
5. Have A Code of Conduct?
In the break room, everyone is equal, or theoretically anyway. The idea is for everyone to be able to relax and enjoy themselves. Have a set of rules regarding noise, hygiene and cleanliness, refrigerator etiquette and food aromas. Get everyone to agree on the rules for the benefit of all.
With those simple ideas in place, your break room can be a happy haven away from the stress of work, even if just for a short while. Staff will get back to their work more focused and energised and their performance can only benefit.