If you have a home office or an office outside your home, a coffee station is a wonderful place to gather and get to know your coworkers, colleagues, and clients. It’s an area that you can use to relax and have some time to decompress before starting work again. But, what would you have in this space? Have you ever asked yourself this question? Or has your Break Room become a mishmash of items that people have brought in overtime. Today, we will talk about how to create an inviting office break room for you and your employees. Let’s begin!
Create an Amazing Break Room in your Small Business.
Survey your employees.
What do people want in a break room? Give them a multiple choice survey to limit the number of things they want especially if it is a small break room. Include a series of questions similar to these below. Feel free to add more customized questions to your questionnaire.
Create a questionnaire and have your employees fill it out.
- How do you take your coffee or tea? Plain, with cream, with sugar, with other: ________ (circle all that applies)
- What snacks do you like for those afternoon cravings? Fruit, chips, ________
- What type of coffee do you prefer? Flavored _________, mild, medium, or dark, other: __________, I don’t drink coffee.
- What type of tea do you prefer? herbal ________, Black, Green, fruity, other:_______
- How do you prefer to prepare your coffee? Coffee maker, french press, other:_______
- Do you prefer single-serve coffee machines? Yes or no or doesn’t matter
- What do you prefer to do when you are on a break? Rest, be by yourself, take a walk, socialize.
Now that you know what they would like in their inviting break room, let’s talk about the specifics.
Decide on a budget for the break room.
Develop a monthly budget on how much you want to spend each month and your initial costs if you need to buy chairs and tables. You may need a water cooler or microwave. All these things cost money so deciding now before spending your well-earned money is critical. If you can not spend a lot now, you can create a plan and write what you want to do in 3 months, 6 months, a year, and five years. Then, you can reward your staff for those profitable years by getting them something they wanted from the survey.
Pick an area that is centrally located.
We had a break room right in the center of our office where everyone could go, watch tv, and be talking to one another. If it is too in the center of everything, try a side room off the main meeting area. Add chairs and a nice table to create interaction with other people. No fabric chairs; it’s too difficult to clean.
Stock all the essentials supplies needed for a cup of coffee in the cabinet and refrigerator.
Even if you take coffee black so assume that they may use creamers and different types of sugars. The most uninviting break rooms are the ones that are half stocked with stuff and are missing the essential supplies needed to make a cup of coffee or tea. Snacks like fruits, cookies, croissants, donuts, etc… for employees to share after determining what your employees would prefer. Hopefully, it will minimize waste. Below are just some I found on Amazon (affiliate). Keep in mind that you want to buy what your employees will eat. When you find the right mix of snacks and supplies, you can create a recurring order set on Amazon so you can reorder automatically without thinking about it.
Make the space relaxing.
An area that people can rest is wonderful. I found that when working in retail, it was wonderful to be able to go to a quiet area and just read or rest my head. A few padded faux leather reclining chairs are wonderful. A TV mounted that people can watch essentially when taking a break. Internet access so people can go online is nice too. Keep in mind what your employees enjoy doing to relax will help you develop this area. If you don’t think people would use a TV, try picking up a few comfortable chairs so people can recline on their break. Below are some options I found on Amazon (affiliate).
Pick up enough supplies for people to use while on break.
Paper towels, paper plates, and napkins, and forks, knives, and spoons are useful but make a lot of trash. If your office is up for it, get a plate set and tell everyone they need to clean their own plate, silverware, and mug/glass after they use them. If you think your staff would clean their plates and supplies, you can buy some white plates and cutlery instead to make it more environmentally friendly.
Have the right appliance for your office.
Pick office equipment that everyone will use. If your office personnel like a heated water cooler, then buy one of them for your office. The office staff prefers a french press, purchase that instead of a coffee maker, get that one. If your staff likes to bring in food to cook in the microwave, purchase a microwave. If your staff needs a place to store leftovers, a small or medium-sized refrigerator is needed. All these questions can be figured out when doing the initial survey with your employees.
Make sure you have enough storage for all the supplies.
I have been in many offices where their supplies are overwhelming the break room. So, buy as you need it. Then, have a home for all of the supplies. If you do not have a closet, then buy a freestanding unit. Have a closet is great in this area, but if that is not possible, a freestanding cabinet would work just fine.
Create a homey environment.
Instead of just laying snacks on the counter, get a decorative large basket and display them in the basket. An inviting display will make the snacks go faster, and less waste will occur.
Below is an image you can share with your office manager.
I hope this post inspired you to make an inviting break room for your staff. Remember, that you don’t just need a break room for your staff. You can create one for yourself too. If you work in your home, set up an area near your desk just for you and your visitors with these tips as well.
Need some more tips, visit the articles below for even more break room tips:
10 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Break Room for Your Employees
How to Stay Focused In Your Small Business
Please note these are affiliate links through Amazon, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn affiliate fees if you decide to make a purchase. Thank you for supporting my small business.