Furnishing Your Break Room to Optimize Worker Satisfaction

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Photo courtesy of Kristin Dos Santos via Wikimedia Commons

Providing a clean, modern and attractive break room is one of the easiest ways to improve employee morale and boost job satisfaction. It also can reduce employee turnover and the associated costs of hiring new workers.

Break rooms are more than simply a place for your employees to eat during their lunch break. They can be the social hub of your workspace, allowing people the opportunity to interact with others and recharge their batteries so they can be more productive when they get back to work.

And now that most states have outlawed indoor smoking, employees can enjoy their break time in a healthier, smoke-free environment.

Choosing the Best Break Room Furniture

When it comes to selecting the best furniture for your employee break room, there are three primary considerations: Size, design and cost.

Size is by far the most important factor. If you furnish your break room with tables and chairs that are too big, or too much furniture for the size of the room, it can have the negative effect of what you intended.

Crowded rooms inhibit the free flow of people, increasing frustrations and compromising the relaxed atmosphere you are trying to create.

Break Room Furniture Design

When it comes to break room furniture design, there are many options to choose from, including picnic-style tables and benches, cafeteria-style seating with permanently affixed benches, booths, and freestanding tables and chairs.

One consideration when making your selection is cleanliness. It’s important that you provide your workers with a break area that is easy to keep clean. Break room furniture that is permanently affixed or is difficult to move could make it harder to keep the break room tidy.

Tables and chairs that are not connected to the floor or to each other also can be moved around, allowing workers to push tables together or arrange their seating as they see fit, which can improve worker morale.

Choose furniture that is easy to wipe clean and features timeless design and neutral colors so they won’t go out of style.

How Much Should You Pay?

The cost of furnishing your break room should be seen as an investment in your employees. Providing a neat, clean, and well-appointed breakroom is an employee benefit. And like other benefits, it can help improve job satisfaction, increasing retention and reducing turnover.

Durable, commercial-grade break room furniture can withstand years of heavy use before needing to be replaced. So your initial investment can be amortized over a long period of time.

Other Break Room Needs

If you aren’t going to provide food service or vending machines in your break room, you can at least offer workers a refrigerator, microwave oven, toaster, and a coffee pot with a hot water spout.

There also should be a sink where dishes, utensils, coffee mugs and storage containers can be rinsed. Cabinets and a countertop will help keep your break room organized and efficient.

Providing a well-appointed break room that is kept clean and orderly shows your workers that you care about their comfort and convenience.