Office Breakroom Essentials: the Undisputed Checklist
Satisfying breaks are imperative to keeping employees working hard when they're on the clock. You can help them during their relaxation by adding breakroom supplies to your list of office essentials. Small appliances, eating utensils and available entertainment will allow your employees some relaxation time before they get back to work.
Make or Break Employee Morale
Employees who feel overworked and underappreciated begin to resent their bosses and look for better jobs. The most successful small- and medium-sized businesses know how important an established and knowledgeable workforce is to company success and do what they can to prevent turnover from becoming a problem. Show your employees you care by ensuring they have enjoyable breaks during the day.
To do this, you need to provide an office breakroom that is separate from the work area, along with comfortable chairs and sturdy tables they can use for sitting down in groups together. Getting along with other people while you're on break makes time away from work more satisfying. Put up bulletin boards sporting motivational posters to encourage interaction and a positive mood, and have TV, radio or reading material available to help take employees' minds off work for a while.
Offer a few free snacks and coffee for employees, and give people an affordable way to bring food from home. Make sure your breakroom has small appliances, such as a mini fridge or microwave, available for storing and heating food and drinks. Individual cup coffee brewers are great for small offices with a handful of coffee drinkers, while larger machines can fill 12-cup pots or urns that will last the entire day. Along with these you'll need brewing essentials, like paper or reusable filters, creamer, sugar, and stirrers. Don't forget to stock enough paper or plastic goods like disposable cups, plastic cutlery, and plates, so employees feel comfortable eating in the office and you can forget about washing dishes at the end of the day. Adding a vending machine is a good alternative to stocking snacks on your own. Supplies that encourage healthy, enjoyable eating are essentials that often go overlooked.
Finally, encourage your employees to claim ownership of their breakroom. Providing garbage bags and cleaning supplies gives workers the opportunity to take pride in their space by keeping it clean. Adding personal hygiene products and a first aid kit helps them see the breakroom as a necessary place for taking care of their needs at work, as well as a convenient resource put together by owners who care.
Using Today's Technology to Help Workers Feel at Home
There are a variety of devices that can help provide a break from the workplace and don't cost an arm and a leg. In the past, canned music piped through elevators and common areas left employees annoyed. Today's options for audio include small, portable speakers that can be hooked up to iPods and other personal music sources. Other office essentials, like small appliances, have become smaller and more affordable as well.
A Worthwhile Investment in Employee Appreciation
Updating a breakroom is much more affordable than creating one from scratch, but the biggest expense involved will be creating an area just for employees to relax in. Entertainment, dining and cleaning essentials shouldn't add much to the company budget. Paper supplies, in particular, can be extremely affordable when purchased in bulk.
The biggest issues you'll run into when establishing a breakroom would be the cost of small appliances. Thankfully, the cost of dorm fridges and small heating devices like microwaves has gone down dramatically in the last 10 years. Paying a bit more for models with high reliability rates will ensure your investments will last.
Creating the Perfect Breakroom
Most workplaces today suffer from stress-related issues. Break time has become even more important for maintaining a productive, peaceful atmosphere on the job. Supplies that provide for employees' personal needs are office essentials that keep operations running smoothly. Show your workers you care by offering them moments of rest and relaxation throughout the day.