break room ideas

18 Break Room Ideas For Your Workplace

Looking for inspiring break room ideas to improve the common areas of your business? You’ve come to the right place.

The employee lounge, staff lunchroom, or whatever you call it in your business is a place for your team to relax, regroup, and recharge during the busy workday.

How can you ensure that your team feels engaged and ready to get back to work after getting a cup of coffee or chatting with their coworkers? By setting up your common areas to help your employees unwind and de-stress — even if it’s only for a few minutes.

In this article, we discuss some of the best break room ideas for your workplace and how you can extend the engagement your team feels there into every corner of your business.

Table of contents

Break room ideas: Layout

break room ideas

The best option for your employee break room depends on the nature and physical layout of your business. If, for example, you run a coffee shop, it makes sense to choose a break room focused on something other than coffee.

Here are some break room themes and ideas to get you started.

1) Coffee station

For many of your employees, coffee is the fuel that gets them up and going and helps them make it through the day.

One of the best break room ideas you can implement is to upgrade the coffee machine to something that brews more than just the straight black variety.

Give your team the option to produce their own espresso, latte, cappuccino, or macchiato and they’ll return to work raring to go.

2) Comfortable seating

Outfitting the space with comfortable seating is a must if you want your break room ideas to be successful.

Consider options like:

  • Benches
  • Couches
  • Hammocks
  • Picnic tables
  • Swing chairs
  • Ottomans
  • Stools

Try to include enough seating options so that everyone in your office can use the break room at the same time.

3) Office library

Another great break room idea is to add shelving and make it an office library.

Include books that inspire your team to improve their skills, and then allow them to sign the books out and take them home. You might also consider encouraging employees to bring in their own favorites to trade and discuss.

4) Quiet rooms

Some employees will need to unplug and calm down on their break, but regular common areas can get a bit noisy at times.

Setting aside space for a quiet room solves this problem, and even the most outgoing and gregarious team member will appreciate it from time to time.

5) Exercise equipment

Exercise room for employees

If you have the space, consider adding exercise equipment to your list of break room ideas.

Employees trying to relax don’t necessarily want someone doing a HIIT workout right next to them, so consider dividing the common room in half and building a wall to separate the two activities.

Then, fill the exercise space with dumbbells, medicine balls, resistance bands, yoga mats, pull-up bars, treadmills, and rowing machines.

6) TV

Adding a TV to the break room is an easy way to help your team members decompress for a few minutes.

Tune the TV to a local or cable news channel, a classic sitcom (Friends, Frasier, Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, etc.), or a movie on Netflix to give those in the common area something to watch while they have a snack.

Keep the volume low (or off), but give your employees the ability to turn it up or turn on closed captioning if something interesting comes on.

7) Snack bar

Install a snack bar and stock it with healthy foods to keep your team energized for the work ahead.

Include options like:

  • Protein bars
  • Jerky
  • Granola
  • Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, etc.)
  • Vegetables (carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, etc.)
  • Nuts

If keeping the snack bar fully stocked becomes too much work, consider hiring an outside company to do it for you.

8) Bulletin board

A bulletin board is a great break room idea because it provides a way for you and your team members to communicate back and forth without actually being in the same room (a.k.a. asynchronous conversation).

You can post updates about the goings-on in your company and encourage your employees to do the same. Give them the freedom to get creative, and your team will appreciate the outlet.

Break room ideas: Interaction

break room ideas with a ping pong table

9) Video games

Video games are one of our favorite additions to this list of break room ideas.

Whether you choose to bring in a few full-size cabinets or provide a gaming system hooked to the TV, video games are a great way to promote interaction with coworkers and help everyone unwind for a few minutes.

10) Board games

Another fun break room idea that promotes interaction and relaxation is stocking the room with board games.

Provide long games like Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, and Chess as well as short games like Candy Land, Connect Four, and Checkers for all different tastes and preferences.

11) Ping pong table

Including a ping pong table or two in your break room gives team members a quick bit of stress relief and physical activity.

Employees might just pick up a paddle and ball and hit back and forth for a few minutes. Or, they might organize a tournament after work. Either option is a fun way for them to get their mind off their responsibilities for a bit so they can come back ready to work.

12) Community puzzle

Community puzzle for the break room

Laying out a community puzzle is an easy break room idea that everyone will love. Encourage employees to add a piece or two every time they take a break, and watch how fast the puzzle takes shape.

13) Doodle board

A doodle board lets team members express their creative, artistic side in a way that they might not be able to in their current task.

Wheel in a large whiteboard, hang several sheets of butcher paper, or cover one whole wall with chalkboard paint, and then set out plenty of coloring utensils (e.g., dry erase markers, regular markers, crayons, or chalk).

14) Question of the week

Another way to promote interaction is to post a question of the week — perhaps in one corner of the doodle board — and then encourage team members to write or draw their responses underneath.

Large whiteboards are ideal for this activity, but you can also bring in a chalkboard or just have everyone write their answer on a piece of paper and tape it to the wall or pin it on the bulletin board.

15) Fridge magnets

This simple idea goes a long way toward sparking conversation between employees who might not work together very often.

If the refrigerator is too small of a space, paint a portion of one wall with magnetic paint and let your team members go wild.

Break room ideas: Events

Company party

16) Coffee of the week

If coffee is a big thing in your office, hold a coffee-of-the-week tasting event and introduce your team to a variety they haven’t tried yet.

17) Break room mixer

Organizing a break room mixer every few weeks is a way to encourage teammates who might not work together very often to socialize, celebrate, and get to know one another.

You can facilitate this event by creating a theme for the meetup, such as:

  • Bagel breakfast
  • Ice cream social
  • Card-writing campaign
  • Wine tasting

Get creative with the theme you choose and watch attendance soar.

18) Craft time

A craft break in the middle of the afternoon is the perfect way to help your team relax and focus on something other than work for a while.

Simple DIY projects, like origami and coloring books, occupy both the hands and the mind and aren’t so difficult that they use up energy that might go to finishing a big project.

Engagement beyond the break room

break room ideas

When it comes right down to it, the way you choose to set up, decorate, and use your break room has a major influence on the engagement your team members experience.

Yes, they’ll feel refreshed, recharged, and motivated when they’re in the break room, but, with the right processes in place, you can extend that feeling into the rest of your office.

How? By keeping them organized, focused, and on task.

The Sling suite of tools can help. For busy managers and hard-working employees, Sling streamlines every aspect of your business.

Add to that Sling’s onboard artificial intelligence, and you’ve got an extremely beneficial and flexible set of tools that will help you manage your team, extend engagement beyond the break room, and improve the way your business works.

For more free resources to help you manage your business better, organize and schedule your team, and track and calculate labor costs, visit today.

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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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