Trending Now: New Ideas in Break Areas and Office Kitchens
Good news! In recent years, evolving information in health and wellness has emerged, shining a spotlight on the importance of taking breaks in the workplace. A brief respite from the daily grind. A quick coffee in the breakroom. A chat at the water cooler. Work and rest. Ebb and Flow. Yin and yang. A moment of rest to recharge and rejuvenate. You get the picture.
Gone are the days of the drab beige office kitchen. You know them well. Windowless, bland, and decorated by a single bulletin board lined with compliance documentation. The overhead fluorescent lighting seems to drain the life out of you. But your office break room should be more than that. Not unlike your kitchen at home, your office’s convenience area should be inviting. It should also soothe and rejuvenate, giving employees a chance to unwind and switch gears, shifting their minds away from work for just a few moments before returning with fresh ideas and renewed energy.
Perhaps consider redesigning your break room to have a slightly different feel than the rest of your office. Provide a contrasting color scheme. Vary up the patterns, textures and the artwork while maintaining an air of continuity in the decor. Make it homey. Give it a little humor. Do the unexpected!
Why not appoint the area with a couple of plush chairs or a cozy reading nook? Or perhaps treat the young and young-at-heart to an office foosball, tennis, or air hockey table? Activity generates energy, which has been shown to help manage stress levels at the workplace. Sometimes these “time outs” provide the genesis for unexpected new ideas.
And it’s not just about the recreation. Incorporating well-furnished break areas where employees break away from their desks and work off a laptop in the comfort of a deep chair or sofa can help keep the mind active and the body relaxed.
If your office can spare the square footage, aim to designate zones for both “quiet” and “social” zones, to appeal to those who recharge by quietly catching up on some reading, as well as for those who reinvigorate with a friendly game of ping pong.
Studies have proven that companies who provide a comfortable, vibrant work environment, allowing their employees downtime to refresh, have healthier, happier employees. Healthier and happier employees often translate to higher productivity levels and lower absenteeism across the board.
Style trends tend to come and go, so don’t secure that fiberglass antelope head unless it’s an accoutrement you’ll still want hanging over the break room counter in 5 years. For major office renovation projects, it’s a good rule of thumb to stick to neutral colors and classic styles. It will give your remodel a more timeless quality, and a longevity that will appeal to your clients and employees down the road. It will also give you the flexibility to update your office look in a few years without being on the hook for a complete office redesign. Go bold when it comes to more transient pieces such as paint, pillows, and accent pieces to personalize the space and keep you on-brand with your company.
For guidance on your next remodeling or office design project, give us a call! We’re happy to offer our insights and suggestions on how to maximize your return on investment. Our office design professionals at D2 Office Furniture + Design work with a variety of trusted office furniture suppliers to provide you with nearly infinite options. Contact us today or visit our showroom to get started on your break room renovation!