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Creative Ideas for Employee Break Rooms

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/13/2010

The ambiance of your break room can impact morale and motivation. Here are some employee break room ideas that will help you provide a place for your team to unwind and rejuvenate so that they feel energized and confident to face the remainder of the day.

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    Instill a Sense of Community

    Bulletin Board 

    Since most, if not all, employees convene in the break room, use it as a location to keep everyone informed about company information and create a place where staff members can share news that they find important, interesting or amusing. Hang a large bulletin board or two and place some magnets on the refrigerator door to enable employees to hang newspaper clippings, wedding announcements or new baby pictures. Post funny photographs from past employee events such as office parties or team building exercises.

    If you have a company newsletter, frame each page so that employees can read what is going on with the business. Post other key information as well, such as news about upcoming training seminars and workshops or changes in company policies.

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    Provide a Quiet Area

    Reader 

    When considering what to do for your employee break room, ideas don't have to be all about flash and style. Sometimes employees need a place to go to escape the hustle and bustle of the workplace. If you have a large break room, consider creating a quiet area where workers can go to read quietly, dim the lights to recover from a headache or perhaps take a little lunchtime nap. A couple of big comfy arm chairs or a cushy sofa with a simple reading light in a dark corner is ideal.

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    Make Break Time Fun

    Employee break room ideas should definitely contain some form of amusement. If you have a rather large break room and budget, you might wish to bring in some big-scale pastimes, such as a television with a video game system, a pool table or a pinball machine. Encourage lunchtime challenges or appoint team leaders to select teams and hold ongoing tournaments.

    Board Games 

    Even if your room size and budget do not allow for oversize playthings, you can easily bring some fun into the break room. Place a bookshelf in the room and load it with board games and a stack of coloring books with crayons. Hang a magnetic dart board or tic-tac-toe game on the side of the refrigerator.

    Fostering fun interaction helps with team building and refreshes employees so that they can go back to work with lighter hearts and more positive attitudes.

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    Food and Beverage Ideas

    Apples 

    Since many staff members go for snacks and lunches to the employee break room, ideas about providing snacks and drinks are always beneficial. At the very least, supply a refrigerator, microwave and eating area. You can also furnish plates, utensils, condiments, drinking water and coffee, should you choose.

    If it is in your budget, you may also wish to contribute small snacks, such as potato chips, granola bars, small boxes of raisins and fresh fruit. Complimentary canned soft drinks are sure to be appreciated as well. If you simply cannot afford to provide these items, install vending machines or bring in a basket filled with snacks and an "honesty box," into which employees drop accurate change for their snack purchases.

    Encourage staff members - management included - to lunch together regularly. Spending time-outs together, along with your employee break room ideas, will nurture healthy relationships and boost employee morale.

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    Image Credits

    Bulletin Board: sxc.hu/ilker

    Reader: sxc.hu/Vinícius Sgarbe

    Board Game: sxc.hu/Nick Benjaminsz

    Apples: sxc.hu/pat