Break Room Furniture: Create a Break Room That Sparks Community and Productivity

 

Taking breaks or having scheduled downtime during the day can increase employee productivity. Research shows that when the human brain is at rest, it is still actively gathering information, problem-solving, and thinking creatively.

When employees get much-needed breaks throughout the workday, their energy levels increase. They're better able to deal with challenges more effectively. You can help ensure this by providing a space conducive to relaxation and recharging.

Your office break room is perfect for creating balance and a serene haven in an otherwise hectic work environment. You might wonder what breakroom layout and furniture you’ll need to get this balance right. This article details the essential break room furniture every office should have. It also provides tips on designing a comfortable yet appealing space where employees can gather during breaks.  

Essential Break Room Furniture

Having a break room at work benefits both employees and organizations. These benefits increase when a break room is well laid out and designed. There are specific elements you’ll need to consider to achieve this.

What is a Break Room?

It’s a room in an office building designated as an area where employees can eat, socialize and relax. The number of employees at an organization typically determines the size of the room. It’s the first element you’ll need to decide on before you design the space.

The size of your break room will influence its layout and design. These will all play a factor in the break room furniture you choose. Essential pieces should include:

Tables

A break room table is a standard addition in most offices. However, consider using different-sized tables. Larger tables can accommodate groups of employees wanting to sit together. Smaller ones, including cocktail-height tables, are perfect for those who prefer having lunch with one or two people or on their own. Including a break room counter creates an area for additional seating that either large or smaller groups can use.

These variations and standard tables are pretty functional for having a meal, but you may need a dedicated space for relaxing. A lounge area can facilitate the latter. Smaller coffee tables are suitable for this area and go well with any sofas or armchairs you might wish to include.

Seating

Comfort is the aim when creating a lounge area in your breakroom. The sofas you choose should be comfortable yet durable, allowing employees to take quick naps if needed. Adding bean bags is also an option.

You can also vary the seating type in other breakroom areas. Don’t be afraid to opt for less conventional seating. These include bar stools, island seating, café chairs, and bench or booth seating.

Break Room Counter

A break room counter can have a dual purpose. Add stools or counter-height chairs to a standalone counter or island for additional seating. However, you might want to place items employees use daily on counters built against a wall. This will include many of the break room appliances, such as:

  • Coffee machine
  • Tea/coffee station
  • Microwave
  • Toaster oven
  • Electric kettle

The refrigerator is usually the only major appliance in most break rooms.

Break Room Cabinets

Are you planning on supplying employees with utensils such as plates, coffee mugs, teacups, and cutlery? Break room cabinets provide an ideal place to store them. These office breakroom cabinets can also house coffee/tea station supplies, including coffee beans, tea bags, sugar, and milk.

Tips for Designing an Office Break Room

Like a home's kitchen, the break room is the central hub of most offices. It’s a location where employees gather for a change of pace. Often it’s where they celebrate significant milestones or hold social gatherings. When designing your break room, you’ll want to keep this in mind, but you’ll also want it to reflect your office culture.

Decide on Size

A few factors usually determine the size of a break room. The size of your building plays a significant role. If you’re renting the space and there’s not a lot of flexibility, you might have to use the already allotted area.

However, if there’s room to maneuver, the number of employees usually determines the size of the break room. Many companies use the 75+25 rule. You might want to consider using this too. This rule puts the minimum size of the room at 75 square feet. It includes an additional 25 square feet for each employee to be seated in the room at total capacity.

Choose a Design Scheme

Your design for your break room will depend on its size and the number of employees. Ideally, you should designate areas for eating, relaxing, and playing if space permits. A movable partition can make defining each a lot easier.

This allows you to choose appropriate colors to suit the individual areas. Your break room’s color palette is essential. It sets the mood for the atmosphere or ambiance you would like to create.

Neutral colors have a calm and relaxing effect. You can pair these with bolder tones for a more fun feel. Blues and grays help increase productivity and can boost creativity. Bright colors like pink or yellow can spark optimism and add a touch of playfulness.

Include the Essentials

As mentioned before, there are essential pieces of break room furniture you’ll want to include. Today's furniture options facilitate greater flexibility to suit your layout. This allows you to fit furniture into the space in an attractive way.

You can decide the type of tables and seating depending on the number of employees. Your company's culture can determine the style you choose. Whatever you decide, keep comfort in mind. The break room should be a haven where employees can recharge and regroup.

Make Room for Relaxation

To capture the essence of a break room, create a zone for employees to refresh or relax. This is usually the lounge area. It should go beyond restrictive, conventional tables and chairs.

Create a warm and exciting space, similar to the feeling you experience when entering a well-designed living room. This is where employees should feel comfortable kicking back and relaxing, having in-depth conversations, or even taking a nap. Consider adding ambient music, magazine racks, or a small library with various genres.

Prioritize the Kitchen

Is the “coffee break” the reason break rooms were created? It’s hard to be sure, but in the 1900s, breaks became mandated. They often involved employees refueling on cups of coffee. Chances are, as time went by, break rooms were the spaces created for them to do this. It might be why the kitchen is the most critical element in the break room.

This area should have essential items needed for a coffee or tea break. It should also include appliances that ensure employees can enjoy eating at work. A vending machine is also a great way to provide snacks and drinks. Some offices, where size permits, also include a micro market offering packaged lunch items employees can select and then pay using a self-service kiosk.

Having these amenities encourages employees to spend their lunch break in the building. They can get back to their desks on time once it’s over.

They will spend more time together, getting to know one another and developing friendships. That helps them view each other more humanely, knowing their emotions, families, and personal goals. This new insight can bring employees closer and increase productivity as they work toward a common goal.

Make it Fun

Every break room should have the essentials listed above, but a cool office break room has even more. It’s designed with the employee in mind and usually includes a space for exciting activities. Having a recreational area within your break room is a  great way to keep the creative juices flowing.

Sometimes, employees can have difficulty generating ideas. They might need to take a break to watch television or play table tennis or foosball to inspire creativity.

Seventy percent of the world’s largest companies use gamification in some way in the workplace. These companies are seven times more profitable than companies that don’t use it, while 90% of employees report that its use makes them more productive.

Foster a Sense of Community

Break rooms in the office serve an essential purpose — they give employees a place to take a break from work and socialize with colleagues. In addition to providing a place for nourishment, break rooms can help foster a sense of community within the workplace.

 

When organizing office décor, consider creating an environment encouraging employees to interact and form relationships. Comfortable lounge seating and training tables will allow people to gather together while providing games or books can help spark conversations.

 

Creating a space for employees to relax and refresh is essential in ensuring their productivity remains high. Having a space where employees can share ideas and a meal and celebrate significant milestones can positively affect how they interact with one another. This interaction can foster a sense of community and reinforce the company’s culture and values.

Let Your Employees Know They Matter with Juniper Office

Your office space tells a story to both employees and customers. When designing it, it’s crucial to ensure it reflects your values, vision, and culture. This can help customers identify with your brand and sparks increased loyalty.

This also extends to employees who spend more time in your building than in their homes. Creating a space that encourages productivity while fostering a sense of comfort, security, and happiness is essential. Having a space that allows employees to recharge while at work lets them know they’re valued and that their well-being matters.

Choosing the right break room furniture is the key to creating the perfect space. If you’re uncertain where to start, Juniper can help. Browse our site to find the most suitable break room furniture for your office. Or simply contact us to discuss your project. We’ve been creating unique office spaces for years and can do the same for you!