Keep Your Team Happy: 9 Budget-Friendly Ways to Improve Your Office’s Break Room

The US unemployment rate is hovering near a record low of 4%. While that number is good news for the economy, it’s bad news for employers.

Why?

Because it’s an employee’s market. Demand for jobs is low and if you have a position open, candidates can demand a lot from you since your options will be limited.

That’s why it’s critical that you do everything in your power to reduce your turnover rate and keep your team in place. One of the most cost-effective ways to do that is by upgrading your office break room.

In this post, we discuss the best investments that you can make in your break room to ensure your team feels comfortable in your office and with your corporate culture.

1. Add a Cereal Bar

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and nothing says breakfast quite like a bowl of cereal.

If you do go the cereal bar option, consider buying cereals in bulk direct from manufacturers or through wholesalers. You’ll also need a refrigerator that houses a variety of milk options to account for dietary constraints.

2. Always Offer Free Coffee

Free coffee is a no-brainer when it comes to a successful office. If your employees have to bring their own coffee to work, or worst, have to pay to get coffee from a vending machine in your break room, that needs to stop.

While offering coffee to employees does represent an expense, free coffee could pay for itself in increased employee productivity.

3. Comfortable Furniture is a Must

We’ve seen our fair share of break rooms. One of our top peeves from what we’ve experienced is rooms that have no furniture or cheap plastic furniture that’s impossible to use comfortably.

Take your office break room to the next level by bucking that trend.

Get plush chairs, leather sofas or even bean-bag chairs if you’re trying to keep the vibe of your office young. If your furniture isn’t comfortable in your break room, nobody is going to spend time in there and other investments you’ve made in the space will have gone to waste.

4. Make Relaxation a Priority

Good break rooms are a solid investment for a lot of different reasons. One of the main ones is that they give employees the opportunity to relax which leads to less stress and less turnover.

To get the most relaxation bang-for-your-buck with your break room, have soothing music playing. You can also set up puzzles, board games, and other interesting activities.

All of those small additions can help your team take their mind off of work for a few moments.

5. Nap Spaces are The Next Big Thing

We appreciate that this suggestion may only be for the most progressive of businesses. Still, if you want to really throw down the gauntlet with your break room, we think that nap spaces are worth your consideration.

We’ve all been in a place at work where all we want to do on our lunch break is get a few extra minutes of sleep. The problem is, there’s never anywhere snooze.

Sure, employees can nap in their car but self-conscious ones won’t like being gawked at through their windshield and carpooling employees have no options at all.

To solve this problem, consider throwing some nap pods or cots in a corner of your break room.

Not only will your team love the addition but you’ll also encourage employees to spend more time in the office since no one will feel the need to get home quickly to enjoy that nap they’ve been looking forward to.

6. Let People Get Creative

An office break room is a great place for employees to show off their creativity.

We love when employers add giant whiteboards where employees can write messages or draw pictures. Other employers showcase employee artwork in their break room which allows team members to see one another in a new light.

Anything that you can do to allow your team to add personal touches to their relaxation space is worth looking into.

7. Healthy Snacks Are a Great Idea

We’re all for employers going the extra mile to supply snacks for their workers. The trouble is that dietary constrictions are getting more prevalent. Because of that, a lot of your team members may not be able to enjoy standard “chips and soda” snack options.

Consider making your snacks more accessible by splurging on healthier options, even if employees need to help subsidize them by using vending machines. You can learn more here about healthy snack vending.

8. A Little Color Goes a Long Way

An employee break room that has white walls and fluorescent lighting isn’t relaxing. Period.

Throw some sky blue or avocado green on your walls to really help employees mentally step out of their workplaces.

9. Ask Your Team for Input

No matter how many office break room suggestions you read online, you’ll never know exactly what’s worth investing in unless you talk to your team about it.

So ask them!

Send around a survey, see what’s important to the people you work with and start building from there!

Wrapping Up Budget-Friendly Ways to Improve Your Office Break Room

If you’re looking to improve team morale while keeping costs low, we think that gradually improving your office break room is a great place to start.

Explore our suggestions above, source more from your team, and get to work creating a wonderfully relaxing space that your employees will love!

Corporate culture is a living, breathing thing. For more tips on how you can improve yours, check out additional content on “Small Business Sense” today!

Adam Torkildson