A typical workday often gets very hectic and tiring for employees. When they take a break, it is their chance to relax. When employees return from an enjoyable break they have been reenergized and recharged, both mentally and physically. This typically results in an employee with good productivity.

The breakroom is not just a place to grab a cup of coffee and store meals. It is where employees should be able to relax and recharge. It is where employees get to know each other, and conversations are often unrelated to work. It is where employees have the opportunity to interact with their “work family.” The breakroom is also a place where company leaders are able to establish a positive company culture with employees. There are several ways that you can transform your company’s culture from an abstract concept into a daily positive experience by strategically designing and stocking your breakroom.

1. Make Your Breakroom Feel Like Home

Furnish your breakroom with things that make a home kitchen popular: comfortable tables and chairs, modern clean appliances, warm natural light and a large clock on the wall so employees can easily keep track of when it is time to go back to work.

Have adequate appliances, counter space and supplies so employees can store and prepare their meals. If employees have a comfortable place to eat it will certainly provide a more relaxing and less expensive meal than jumping into a vehicle, going someplace to eat and then rushing back.

2. Furnish for the Feel of a Flat Organization

Your breakroom should provide the opportunity for supervisors and production personnel to interact with each other. Your breakroom should reduce the sense of organization hierarchy that prevents employees at different levels from interacting with each other.

3. Appropriately Stock the Breakroom

Employees can bring their own items to enjoy during breaks or you can furnish items. A company can be rather innovative in their approach to this. For example, on Mondays the company will furnish some fresh fruit for the breakroom, on Wednesdays cookies and Fridays fresh sliced vegetables. These “special days” help to create a fun atmosphere in the breakroom.

4. Feature Your Brand

The breakroom provides an excellent opportunity for you to feature your brand. It is an opportunity for you to get your employee’s opinion of your products. You can furnish samples of your products to your employees and ask their opinion of the product’s appearance, flavor, texture, etc. I suggest you furnish each employee with a form to fill out so the feedback you get from employees will be in a format that you can easily compile and get some meaningful data from it. You can also ask employees to offer their opinion of product packaging and test products you are developing. The feedback you get from employees can benefit the company in two ways. First you get valuable information on your products and packaging, and second you let employees know their opinions are truly important to the company.

5. Give Employees a Space They Like

Before you assume what employees want, conduct an internal survey to determine what features employees would like to have in a breakroom. This will help ensure you develop a space employees will appreciate and use.

Remember: A pleasant and well planned breakroom can make you money. It will pay the dividends of enhanced employee productivity and improved job satisfaction which can ultimately improve employee retention.