Everything starts in the break room – More than a place for employees to eat their lunch or freshen up their coffees, the break room is a microcosm of your company’s culture. How you treat your break room directly affects how your employees treat their jobs.
Beyond the Water Cooler:
When you create a break room that encourages fun, creativity and sense of community, you are in turn fostering team work and cultivating strong team players.
Make the Break Room a Safe Haven:
Studies have shown that frequent individual breaks allow employees to re-energize and refocus their thoughts. Make your break room a safe place for that to occur. An example of this could include things as simple as comfortable seating and tables, to more elaborate coffee bars and fully stocked pantries. Whatever it may be, breaks are meant to de-stress and allow employees to tackle their day’s tasks.
Give your employees a voice by making the break room a place where employees know they can brainstorm new ideas freely or make suggestions to improve the company. While it may seem silly, consider adding a suggestion or project idea box to your break room. If you take it seriously, so will your employees.
Continuous, meaningful interaction is crucial when building a community in your break room. These interactions either can be planned or unplanned. Planned social interactions can include 15 minute stretching sessions or office lunch days. Unplanned social interactions can include things like adding games or activities in the room, or the strategic placing of your break room in a centralized location where everyone must enter.