For modern businesses, setting up a comfortable, appealing employee lounge has become a must. Within an office setting, this employees-only room has become increasingly important in fostering a positive, productive work environment over the long term.
Employees need a neutral space in which they can decompress, relax, and socialize with their colleagues. Often, this space is neglected and poorly thought-out, and features an array of old or mismatched office furniture. And yet, to truly maximize the positive impact on the company’s overall performance, elements such as design, colour and comfort should be top-of-mind when setting up this relaxation space. Here are a few tips to create a comfortable rest area your staff will truly appreciate.
The coffee (or tea/herbal tea) corner
It’s difficult to imagine a staff lounge without a good-quality coffee maker and a tempting array of caffeinated and herbal teas. There’s nothing better than discussing ongoing projects with your colleagues over a delicious hot beverage. The furnishings should be comfortable and allow for one-on-one conversations as required. Allocating time for your employees to exchange ideas and information will both enhance innovation and creativity over the long term as well as foster a generally positive attitude at work.
The snack corner
Whether at breakfast or mid-afternoon snack time, make sure to stock your rest area with healthy food that will boost your employees’ energy level during their break. Some good choices might include fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, yogurt, or crackers. In areas where food will be consumed, we recommend selecting tables, chairs and sofas with easy-care surfaces and materials.
The cafeteria area
For lunchtime, choose modular tables designed to accommodate people eating alone or in pairs, groups of four, or more. This flexibility gives employees the additional freedom to rearrange the space as they see fit. A healthy, appealing common space where employees are eager to greet and chat with each other can only positively impact the company’s success.
Seats and armchairs
We can’t overstate the importance of providing employees with comfortable, durable chairs, both at their work station but also in their rest areas. During breaks and meals, the speed at which employees recharge their batteries correlates directly to the level of comfort they are provided. Once they have rested, employees will be able to continue their duties in a more efficient and relaxed manner.
Colours, materials, furniture, and signage
A meticulous choice of colours, materials, signage, and furniture will properly identify the spaces dedicated solely to employees, and encourage them to congregate there instead of other work spaces at the office.
Consider involving your employees in designing and organizing your lounge. Let them take ownership by decorating the walls or adding some decorative items. Place a few plants here and there that employees can look after. Hang a bulletin board where they can post invitations to social events and other notices. The more you do to ensure your employees are invested in these spaces, the better they will feel, and the greater the effect on overall wellness.
When you create well-designed rest areas, everyone wins!