As more and more Millennials and Gen-Zers enter the workforce, employers are pulling out all the stops to attract the more youthful and tech-savvy candidates for their open positions. For the first time in history, people who grew up in the digital age now make up the majority of people in the workforce, bringing innovative ideas but also new demands on the type of work environment they thrive in.
A beautifully designed breakroom has become a key element in attracting young people to a company. The well-designed breakroom is a place for employees to relax, recharge, and feel inspired. If a company isn’t paying attention to this basic amenity, potential recruits will begin to question the corporate culture and what other basic amenities are lacking.
So, what elements make an all-star breakroom?
1 – A Place to Rest & Play, not just Work.
Studies show that there’s a clear correlation between overworked employees and job burnout. A well timed and utilized break leads to greater output, more creativity and better quality of work. Additionally, providing a space for employees to socialize creates a foundation for better work relationships. So bring out the comfy couches and chairs! A ping-pong table and some arcade games? Do it all! And don’t forget to provide plenty of phone charging stations.
2 – Fuel for the Company’s Engine.
Food for the brain and caffeine for the soul. Whether employees want to indulge in a salty bag of potato chips or stick to a strictly all-organic diet of fruit and veggies, provide it all. There’s growing popularity in the Mini Market: a small, self-contained store within the break room that caters to the wants of the employees. And to no surprise, offering a wide variety of good quality coffee at all hours of the day is an amenity that won’t go unappreciated.
3 – Bring the Outdoors in.
1/3 of our lives are spent at work, which for most of us, is spent in a cold office at a desk under floods of artificial light. Just 13-15 mins of exposure to natural light are enough to trigger the release of endorphins or “happy hormones”, and happy employees means better work. Additionally, consider bringing in some greenery! Studies published by the American Psychological Association found that greenery significantly increases workplace satisfaction in employees, heightens self-reported concentration levels, and improves perceived air quality. The more we can bridge the gap between the indoors and outdoors, the better it is for all of us.
The key thing to remember is that a beautiful break room is not an expense, but an investment. When companies pay attention to the details and create an office responsive to the needs of the young workforce, potential recruits will take notice while current employees will perform better and with longevity.