Few places in an office are as important as a break room. Everyone needs a place to recharge and rest, and a well-designed office breakroom is a perfect way to show employees how much they are valued.
Beyond their obvious purpose, break rooms are the centerpiece of an office. These spaces are the perfect place to hold gatherings, parties, and social meetups.
Within a breakroom, employees get a chance to relax and unwind, and they’ll be able to share in the camaraderie of in-person work environments.
At OnePointe Solutions, we know all of this. We know how important break rooms are! We know how proper break room design can bring an office together. That’s why we’re proud to offer our break room designing and furnishing services.
We also love to share what we know. So, join us. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to design a breakroom!
1. Reserve Your Space
The first step of designing a breakroom is knowing where it will go.
When you’re designing your office, set aside a nice chunk of space for your break room. You’ll want to do this before you do too much work on the main space.
Otherwise, you’ll be left with a messy, cramped, and often incoherent mess!
For the best results, you want to place your break room in a central location. This means more than just smacking it down in the center of your design, though!
You want to account for obstacles, obstructions, and accessibility. Everyone should have a quick and simple route to the break room, even if they’re at the periphery of the office.
2. Know What to Include
As you plot out where you’re going to put your break room, it’s important to remember the essentials. Know what sort of things you must include in a break room and work backward from there.
Lay Out the Kitchen
Every break room needs a kitchen area. Without one, your employees will often be forced to return home or eat out for lunch. These diversions draw your workers away from the office, which ultimately eats into their productivity.
At the bare minimum, your office’s break room should have enough space for:
- A coffee maker
- A microwave
- At least one fridge and freezer
- At least one sink
- Countertops (i.e. solid surface countertops, maple block tops, stainless steel tops, plastic laminate countertops)
- Storage solutions
Once you’ve accounted for these necessities, you can start getting creative. Think about what sort of amenities you would enjoy having in an office and, if space allows, add them to the layout.
These additional features may include:
- Additional appliances (blenders, a dishwasher, toasters, toaster ovens, and so on)
- Extra counter space
- Vending machines
You’ll also want to consider how you’ll provide utensils and plates.
Some companies offer disposable plates and plastic utensils. This is a great way to avoid arguments about cleaning duties and cut down on maintenance costs.
However, it isn’t very eco-friendly. Constantly restocking these supplies will also dig into the daily operational costs.
The alternative to this solution is providing employees with durable plates and proper utensils. While this approach is more expensive up front, it ultimately ends up being less expensive than constantly replenishing disposable necessities.
However, it poses the threat of causing arguments and tension should employees fail to take responsibility for their messes.
Save Space for Relaxation
In addition to the kitchen space, you’ll also want to have an area for relaxation. This doesn’t have to be a wholly detached space, but it should give employees enough room to take a breather without encroaching on meal prep.
Many offices accomplish this functional segregation with moving partitions, which allow for a singular room to be divided when necessary. At the same time, portable dividers still allow for the room to be united when a larger space is needed.
Within your lounging area, you’ll want to have:
- Cheerful décor
- Plants and greenery
- Plenty of comfortable seating
Once you have these essentials, you can also consider adding additional perks, such as:
- A television
- Additional storage
- Games (preferable multiplayer, like board games)
- Vending machines
As you design your lounge area, think about functionality. The best office furniture is easy to move and rearrange.
This way, you can quickly and easily accommodate both large and small gatherings. You should have plenty of seating for the lunch rush, but you also need enough room for people to feel secluded when necessary.
By adding a modular component to your break room seating, you turn your break room into a multifunctional space. When your meeting room is full, groups can still convene in the lounge.
Moreover, when work is slow, employees can socialize with each other freely.
3. Add the Details
Once you’ve laid the space out, it’s time to dig into the fun part of office break room design. Now, you can play around with your layout.
You can tinker with the arrangement of furniture, necessities, and cabinets.
Think About the “Vibe”
One of the first things you’ll want is furniture. Try to find items that are different from the main office, this way, your employees can decide what “theme” they want.
What type of surfaces do you want to have in your office’s break room? There are plenty of studies out there, and all of them point in different directions.
You can go with a sterile white break room or a colorful free-for-all. You may choose to adhere to color theory, or you might want to switch it up!
At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. Consider what sort of environment your employees would want to work in. Your office culture will dictate your break room’s design.
When you’re choosing your break room have a clear visual division between their leisure and work spaces.
Another thing you’ll want to think about is how this furniture will work in the future. As the seasons change, employees will likely want to decorate the space accordingly.
Pick furniture that is easy to move around, and consider what sort of things you can do within the space.
Pick Out Some Perks
We’ve already touched on it a little, but it’s time to really expand on the topic.
Adding additional diversions and “perks” is a great way to keep employees happy. These add-ons should give employees the ability to unwind and relax without having to leave the office.
Additional appliances, coffee makers, and vending machines are great, but we want to take a quick look at what sort of games you can add to your break room.
If you have the space to do so, including a multiplayer game in your break room is an amazing way to boost your office’s productivity. It may seem counterintuitive, but there are plenty of reasons to include such a diversion.
A good multiplayer game — such as table tennis, foosball, pool, or air hockey — is shown to:
- Boost morale
- Build team trust through play
- Encourage and display a “work hard, play hard” culture
- Encourage camaraderie and teamwork
- Give workers another chance to socialize
- Offer additional room to unwind and de-stress
- Provide an outlet for in-office tensions
However, we understand that not every office has the space or budget for a full-sized pool table. In these instances, many workplaces offer different diversions.
Adding a television to the break room is another way to foster a healthy office environment.
Like games, televisions offer a variety of perks, including:
- Boosting morale
- Building team trust through socialization
- Encouraging creativity
- Encouraging relaxation
- Multifunctional usage
Our last bit of professional advice for designing a breakroom is to consider your office’s culture. Your break room should be a place for employees to gather and bond.
If the space is too sterile and uninviting, the break room has failed to fulfill its true purpose!
As tempting as it may be to make your break room as bare-bones as possible, that will ultimately come back to bite you. Instead, you want to pack your break room with as many features as it can comfortably fit.
At the end of the day, a break room is more than just a spot to relax. It’s where you’ll hold plenty of future meetings, gatherings, and parties.
As such, it needs to be up to the task! You’ll need durable break room furniture and multifunctional spaces.
You’ll need plenty of storage solutions and diversions to keep your employees engaged and happy.
A break room is the heart of an office, so make it the best place to be!
4. Enlist Professional Help
If all of this is a little overwhelming, that’s okay! There are a lot of things to consider when you’re designing a breakroom.
Being able to visualize how a space will look, feel, and function in five, ten, or even twenty years isn’t an easy task. It’s also a skill that needs to be learned, and it’s okay to admit that you need some help!
That’s why we’re here.
At OnePointe Solutions, we’ve helped plenty of companies improve their break rooms. We offer a plethora of materials to create the ideal space from metal cabinets, stainless steel, and plastic laminate, we hold several countertop options (i.e. epoxy resin, phenolic resin, stainless steel, solid surface, maple block), and have much more to give you the flexibility you need since no breakroom should be the same.
If your business’ break room needs a remodel, then get in touch with us! We want to work with you and give you a break room that everyone loves.