For all the time you spend observing, analyzing and pondering how your employees work, perhaps not enough consideration goes into how they prefer to rest and relax – or how their leisure benefits your bottom line.

A great rest-and-relaxation area can be a double-edged sword. At the disposal of an overly advantageous staff, it becomes a brake that lazy, unmotivated employees apply at their will to grind productivity to a halt while they get paid to take it easy. Used responsibly by otherwise diligent employees, a generously equipped break room grants a refreshing mental and physical reprieve from work that relaxes minds just long enough for great new ideas and enthusiasm to slip in during the daily rat race.

Your rest-and-relaxation area doesn’t even need to be opulently furnished. Start with something especially basic: some top-notch coffee with plenty of sugar, cream, cups and stirrers on hand. More than just keeping employees awake, it also enhances attention spans, focus and overall mental energy. It’s an inexpensive way to make your employees feel rewarded from 9 to 5. Meanwhile, you reap the benefits of a more productive, efficient team during business hours.

However, why stop there?


  • Set It Apart

Do you know what the break room really is? It’s an escape. It’s an oasis just far enough apart from the call of duty to be convenient. It should stand out, complete with a refreshingly fun color scheme and an open layout to go with some comfortable places to sit and take a load off for a while. Remember, your goal is to allow a fleeting disconnection. This is a place to decompress, not an office with a refrigerator. Allow your people to savor some new scenery.


  • Play A While

We aren’t telling you to install a fully loaded Xbox One or PlayStation. However, consider adding some basic games, as long as employees play responsibly and never so long that they take away from getting things done. A little competitive diversion will bring down stress and something as simple as foosball or billiards can provide a neat little bonding moment among workers. Well, what do you know: suddenly, your break room is a team-builder!


  • Healthy, Wealthy And Wise

Inevitably, your employees are stopping in this area to eat. Chances are, they’ll actually appreciate some healthy, tasty snack options greatly enough to give not a second thought to going the extra mile while on duty. What’s more, healthier snacks promote healthier energy without the sudden insulin spikes that give way to disastrous crashes later. Hungry workers aren’t productive workers, but neither are sleepy ones. Go with nuts, whole grains, yogurt and fresh veggies to fuel your staff like thoroughbreds.


  • To Tv Or Not To Tv?

That is the question. On the one hand, it can be a pricy perk. On the other hand, if it falls within the budget, install one or two, keep the volume down, and judiciously limit the channel selections, as long as the sets don’t become distractions. They can blend some entertainment with valuable information from national and local news. For variety’s sake, also throw in a few major newspapers.


  • Take Requests

Finally, listen to your people. The most inspired recreation areas that best facilitate better productivity through better rest come from listening to employees’ suggestions with an open and understanding ear – which, in turn, further increases the satisfaction of feeling valued. Set up a comment box – then actually read what employees offer. Take the most valuable suggestions to heart and give them a try.