Tips and Solutions Detail
Give me a Break!
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Happy employees are productive employees. And when it comes to your employees, little things can make a big difference. Creating an employee break room is a small perk that can help refresh minds, build friendships, and boost your bottom line. Whether you own a hair salon, a video store, or a real estate office, we can help you create a functional and affordable employee break room.
- Lifetime Tables
- Lifetime chairs
- Ice maker or ice cube trays
- Coffee pot
- Water cooler
- Dinnerware supplies- plates, bowls, spoons, etc.
- Plastic wrap
- Coffee mugs for guests
- Glass beverage glasses for guests
- Paper towels
- 409 or other all-purpose cleaner
- Dish soap and sponge
- Vending Machines
- Water cooler
- Coffee filters
- Coffee stirrers
- Find Space A separate room is ideal, but if space is at a premium, start with a simple divided-off area (out of view from customers) where employees can get away from their desk to eat their lunch away or just to relax. This can easily be accomplished by setting up a cubicle in the back of the room (or using portable room dividers) and including a table and chairs. If you are fortunate enough to have a separate room to use as a break room, the design possibilities are endless! Read our list of table and chair suggestions below to maximize your seating space. In addition to the dining area, add a kitchen sink so employees can rinse lunch dishes and easily clean up spills.
- Establish Kitchen Convenience If you have the space and money, create a break room with the convenience and coziness of your home kitchen. Add a refrigerator, freezer and microwave to encourage employees to pack their lunch. Water coolers, coffee pots, disposable dinnerware supplies (paper plates, napkins, utensils, etc.), and vending machines are nice extra touches. Establish basic break room etiquette rules to keep your break room clean, stocked, and free of moldy, unidentifiable food!
- Set the Mood In addition to serving as a dining room, a break room should be a place where employees can escape from the noise and stress of work. They should leave the area feeling re-energized, re-charged, and ready to tackle their next project. Paint the room a bright, cheery color that is different from the rest of the office motif to help change the scenery. Hang a bulletin board to post company announcements and memos and for employees to post personal signs and ads. Subscribe to trade journals and news publications so employees can read about the competition and current affairs during their downtime. Provide activities to help relieve stress such as a deck of cards, a foose ball table, or even a coloring book and crayons.
- Provide Food for Thought Providing food and beverages for your employees is a quick way for employees to boost their energy during the workday. Vending machines are an easy way to provide a variety of options. Keep in mind, they can also be more expensive (for both employers and employees) and take up more physical space than other options. A more economical food option is to purchase snacks and beverages in bulk from a warehouse club. Place them in a basket or container for employees to purchase using the honesty system. Have a change box for employees to drop their money in on the spot, or make a tally sheet so employees can mark each time they take something and then bill employees at the end of each week or month. If you are really feeling generous and you have the funds, pull out all the stops and provide free snacks and beverages for your employees! Just stocking a few bulk containers of snacks or providing a bag of bagels every Monday morning can make a big impression on your employees. To encourage a healthier working environment, provide more nutritional snack options such as granola bars, microwave popcorn, and dried fruits. Employees will feel better and work better in the long run!
- Be the Host with the Most If you host business guests in your office or shop, be able to offer them a hot or cold beverage while you meet. If you have frequent business meetings, purchase glass coffee mugs and beverage glasses to serve your important guests properly.
- Get Employee Input Periodically ask your employees what they would like to see added to the break room. After all, it’s their break room! Make a suggestion box for employees to anonymously provide their feedback and place it in the break room where employees are most likely to think of the ideas.
- Durable, and easy-to-maintain furniture is important for an employee break room. The tables and chairs should be easy to clean since frequent spills and splatters are a given when food is involved! And, as a small business owner, you need your furniture to be flexible for various purposes such as individual lunches, group birthday potlucks, training meetings, etc.
- For small spaces with room for only one table, a Lifetime 4-Foot Round Table and four chairs create a comfortable and trendy atmosphere. If you have larger space, purchase two (or more) Lifetime Folding Card Tables with chairs. This allows you to have two separate tables for eating areas, or you can push them together and make one large table for a bigger group meal or training meeting.
- If don’t have a counter in your break room, purchase a Lifetime 5-Foot Adjustable Height Table and set it at the buffet height, pushed up against the wall. This provides plenty of space to hold the microwave and paper supplies (such as napkins, plates, etc.), as well as room to prepare food before placing it in the microwave. Maximize your space and store extra supplies in containers under the table.
- If you have an outdoor patio area (that is not in view of the customer entrance), create an outdoor eating area with a Lifetime Folding Picnic Table so employees can enjoy some fresh air on sunny days.
- Assign a stock Boy or Girl. Designate one employee (or yourself) to be the person who stocks all of the break room food and supplies. That person should check inventory at the end of each day.
- Refrigerator and freezer. Everything gets thrown out on Friday afternoon regardless of when it was put in. Establish a weekly rotating cycle so each employee is responsible for helping with this nasty task. No complaining allowed – if everyone uses it, everyone cleans it.
- Coffee pot. First person to want coffee makes coffee. Make more if you empty the pot. Last one to leave the office turns the pot off.
- Microwave. Nothing is more disgusting than getting your lunch ready to cook and opening the microwave door to see crusted, splattered food! If your food splatters or runs over while cooking, clean up the mess!
- Dirty Dishes. No dirty dishes in the sink - rinse or wash them off. Empty dishes left on the counter to dry must be taken home each night.
- Spills. Clean up after yourself. If you spill it, wipe it up. If you drop it, pick it up. This applies to tables, chairs, counters, floors, and appliances.
- Refill it. If you emptied it, refill it. If you used the last paper towel, open a new roll etc.
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