10 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Break Room for Your Employees

Here are some employee break room ideas that can help you create the best possible spot for your small business team to retreat to and re-energize.

Your break room can be an incredibly important part of your office. If you want your team to be productive and satisfied at work, they need a place to take occasional breaks and relax or even have some fun. Here are some tips that can help you create the best possible break room for your small business team.

Employee Break Room Ideas

Provide Caffeine and Snacks

No break room is complete without a coffee machine. And if you want to create a break room that your employees will really love, you can add some extra options as well. A tea kettle, cappuccino machine and a fridge or pantry stocked with healthy snack options can help your employees get an extra energy boost in the middle of the day. And they’ll appreciate the extra options too.

Offer a Space for Conversations

You also need to create a space in your break room where your employees can actually sit down and enjoy their lunch, coffee or simple break time. Some tables and comfortable seating can be extremely helpful. But you should also consider your actual team and the space you have available in your break room, since you want to create a space that will encourage your employees to actually sit together and talk, which can then encourage collaboration in the office as well.

Create a Relaxing Atmosphere

In order for your break room to be effective, you need your employees to actually feel like they’re taking a break from their work. You can do this by creating a relaxing space where your team members can completely separate themselves from their work. Things like paint colors and comfortable seating can help. Or you can create separate spaces for employees who really want to be alone to relax or think for a few minutes at a time.

Close Off the Space from the Office

In addition, it’s important that your break room be physically separated from the rest of your office. If you have an open floor plan, then the employees who are taking breaks could potentially be distracting to those who are working. Or those who are working could make it more difficult for those trying to take breaks. So you could try using room dividers, curtains or barriers to make the spaces seem more separate.

Offer Some Activities

Break rooms can also be a great place for your team members to have some fun. And you can encourage that by providing some games or activities for your employees to take part in. If you have room, you could set up a ping pong table or pool table for team members to use. Or you could invest in a video game console or even just keep some board games around for employees enjoying the break room.

Make it Large Enough for Parties

On a daily basis, your break room might just be in use by a few people at a time. But it can also be a great place to have your team gather for things like birthdays or other events. So if possible, make sure it’s large enough and laid out in a way that can facilitate activities involving your entire team.

Personalize the Space

The decorations that you choose for your break room can also make a big difference. You want it to be fairly consistent with your office decorations, but still fun. You can consider things like paint colors, wall art, furniture and more. You might even consult with a designer to put together a space that will work best for your specific team.

Encourage Actual Breaks

You can also offer something extra for employees who really need to relax and take their minds off of work for a few by including fun distractions like books or a TV. Since employees who work constantly can start to feel burnt out and then potentially lose focus and have their productivity suffer, providing a few things that can help them actually separate themselves from work can also help them and your business over time.

Keep it Updated

Putting together a break room can be a fun activity. But if you want your employees to actually enjoy that break room over the long haul, you need to maintain and update it. So you need to make sure to have the space cleaned and organized regularly. And you should also update any outdated features or add cool new gadgets or decorations that you think might appeal to your team.

Listen to Your Employees

When designing or updating your break room, the most important thing you need to keep in mind is how it can benefit your team. So you should take their thoughts and opinions into account when making decisions. You can learn a lot by simply talking to your employees. Or if you have a few different options you’re considering, you could even use a survey or questionnaire to gather feedback from your team.

Break Room Photo via Shutterstock

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.