When you think about the smell of fresh coffee brewing, beanbag chairs and video games, you probably imagine being in your living room on the weekend. But what if these amenities were in your office? When you think about work, you typically don’t think about fun and relaxation, but more and more companies are investing in spaces where employees can relax at work.
There’s a common misconception that relaxed work environments lower productivity. However, the opposite is usually true. A relaxed workplace can benefit your business by increasing job satisfaction and reducing stress. As any employer knows, high stress levels among employees can be detrimental to a business. Stress often causes burnout, health problems, the inability to focus and workplace conflicts. Giving your employees a place to unwind when things get overwhelming is a great way to help reduce stress around the office.
Change the function of your break room
Many businesses have a break room, but sometimes, this space doesn’t reach its full potential. We’ve all heard stories of depressing break rooms: poorly-stocked kitchens, glaring lights, uncomfortable folding chairs and old trade magazines that are passed as reading material. It doesn’t have to be this way, nor should it. Your break room should be a welcoming and relaxing space where employees can unwind, strengthen bonds with coworkers and relieve stress throughout the workday.
Investing in a break room can sound like it will cost a fortune, but it doesn’t have to. Despite what larger companies and dozens of magazine articles will tell you, you don’t need a foosball table, soda fountain or vintage arcade games to make your space fun and exciting. What you do want is to make the space conducive to relaxation. Stock your break room with beanbag chairs, TVs or anything else you feel your employees would value.
Create a social space
The workplace is becoming increasingly digital, and even companies with an open floor plan may notice that employees are keeping to themselves more often. Giving your employees a space to hang out with their coworkers is a great way to increase collaboration among employees. Encouraging interaction with other employees can increase creativity and create a stronger bond within the workplace. Providing comfortable chairs, board games and cards is a great way to encourage your employees to interact in a relaxing environment.
Yes, the goal of an office is to get people to work, but problem solving and creativity can receive a jump-start when people daydream. This is why we often think of great ideas in the shower or while doing dishes. Encourage this same kind of thinking in your office, and give your employees a place to do it. Whether it’s a break room or game room, employees will appreciate that you’re giving them a place to get creative.
Don’t be afraid to stray from the traditional workplace and create an environment where your employees will be able to relax when they’re overwhelmed or stressed. Your employees will appreciate the thought and effort, and you’ll likely see less stress and more productivity in the workplace.