We all know the important role office break rooms play in boosting the productivity of your workforce. Studies and experience have proved time and time again that regular breaks from the routine of work are not only beneficial but essential to get the optimum results from your staff.
Funky breaks rooms with TVs, pool tables and great coffee are great, but it goes a bit further than that. People are changing, new generations are coming into the work place with different expectations and companies need to move with the times. Let’s take a look at 5 essentials for office break rooms to enhance productivity.
1. Conference Rooms
Let’s start with the traditional conference room. Yes, it has been around forever but for good reason. A decent conference room is vital in any organisation. Yes, they are needed for their main purpose, board meeting but are also utilised for all and any important meeting or those that require total privacy.
A board room need to be functional as well as comfortable and classy. This does not mean to say one needs to spend a fortune, just get practical, elegant furnishings and finishes.
2. Ad-Hoc Meeting Areas
The conference room is not always available or practical, especially for quick, informal meetings involving fewer people. A separate, private place is still needed for these impromptu discussions so a few small to medium sized meeting rooms are ideal for this. The meetings could last anywhere from 5 minutes to a few hours. The idea is that the rooms allow for flexibility and regular dialogue between staff where and whenever necessary.
3. “Water Cooler” Hangouts
Meeting around the water cooler in the office has become a bit of a cliché but it is a reality. Sure, staff have plenty of work to do at their desks or workstations but the collaboration and sharing of ideas between workers is vital for the success of the company. Much of this happens in informal situations, in break rooms, lounges or simply around the infamous water cooler. It is important to encourage this sort of interaction to enhance relationships between staff and departments in order to have creativity and improved productivity.
Another great idea is a bit of office exercise. Take a look at some ideas recommended by Indoor Training Bikes.
4. Personal Workstations
Trends in office layout and design are constantly changing. Open plan appears to be fashion at the moment and private offices are generally reserved only for senior executives. Hot desks have even become popular with sales teams that are in and out of the office. Whatever your company philosophy is, staff need a place that is theirs, a safe haven that they can personalise and make their mark on. Most staff spend the better part of their life at their workstation so it may as well be an environment that appeals to them.
One growing trend is personalisation where the employee is given a fixed budget to procure his or her own furnishings and equipment for their own space. This is a great idea and certainly helps with attracting and retaining top staff.
5. Coffee Shop
The younger generations coming into the workforce in ever increasing numbers have different expectations and different ways of working. In order to get the most out of them, you need to embrace these ideas and not try to fight them. The end result is what you are after, not how, when and where it is achieved. Obviously, this has to be done within certain boundaries but tell the staff what is required, set deadlines, provide regular feedback and guidance where need but allow them the flexibility to get the work done their way.
If their best work is done in the coffee shop at 2am on their tablet, so be it. Do not stifle their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit with rigid formality.
Try to incorporate these ideas into your work place and you will see an improvement in creativity and productivity. Ignore them and you run the risk of losing key staff members to more flexible and progressive companies.