Create a relaxed environment
You need to think about how you’re going to create an environment in which your employees can feel relaxed and comfortable.
They need space to relax, and space to socialise. By giving them that space where they can relax, you’re giving them a place where they can take away some of the strain of a busy and often pressurised workplace.
You need to think of the staffroom in terms of the best design so that your employees return to work rejuvenated and enthusiastic. Providing them with opportunities to socialise in a pleasant environment will help them to bond with their fellow workers, creating a healthy team environment that can only be good for the business as you increase productivity.
Take a note of when the busy times are in the staffroom. Implement a system so it does not become too crowded if all your employees decide to go at once. You may get some push back to new lunch break policies, but it will allow your employees to socialise with different people and create an all round better office environment.
What makes a good staffroom?
Some employers simply identify a space, throw in a chair or two, possibly a fridge and a microwave, and expect their employees to get on with it. If you want to show employees that you’re interested in their welfare outside the immediate work environment then you’ll make sure the staffroom is well-designed for their needs.
A clean environment is a relaxing environment. There is nothing worse than walking into a dilapidated and mistreated staffroom.
Cleanliness starts with the flooring. The flooring has to be easily cleaned and hard wearing to be of any use in an office, especially as your employees will spend a lot of time walking in an out of the staffroom. Get it properly installed by a professional and your hard wearing flooring will last for many years.
Ensure that cleaning products are easily available for staff to use. If there are no cleaning products how can you expect staff to clean up after themselves?
A fridge should be somewhere at the top of your list for the perfect office staffroom. You need a large enough fridge to accommodate everyone in the office, if not two.
As with the above point, everything needs to be clean. Fridges and sinks need to be cleaned everyday and ensure there is a policy for all workers to take responsibility for their own mess. With many people, a communal area gets messy very quickly so needs to be kept under control.
You certainly need a good amount of space. If people feel cramped and have to effectively queue for a microwave or to wash their dishes and cutlery, they won’t feel comfortable. Think about two kitchenettes in a galley style so that there is easy access to the sinks and fridges.
Make the communal areas as comfortable as possible – no hard edged seating, but furniture such as a two seater sofa, or maybe several, giving your employees a real feeling that you’re looking after them. Sofas do create a much more relaxed environment and, especially if some employees are engaged in very physical work, are ideal for them to take some time to unwind.
White tables and chairs add to the feeling of cleanliness. Do not bring in white sofas though as they can be difficult, and expensive, to clean if someone drops their lunch or spills a cup of coffee. Investing in a colourful sofa will make the staffroom feel less like a clinic and more like a place for relaxation.
Position the room so that there is plenty of natural light – it really does help people feel more relaxed when the environment is not lit by harsh electrics.
Natural light works perfectly with potted plants. If there is not much chance for employees to get out of the office bringing a bit of nature into the office can really boost the atmosphere. Just make sure someone waters them regularly, a dying plant is never a great way to boost morale.
When you give your employees the chance to take a break in an environment that’s conducive to them restoring their energy, then your well-designed staffroom can be a major factor in getting the very best out of their skills and commitment.