Not only is your office cafeteria a place where you go to eat your lunch, but it should be somewhere that you can unwind and take a break from the stress of your busy day. When designing your office canteen space, there are many ways that you can upgrade what you already have without breaking the bank. An often-overlooked space in any business, especially start-up ones, the cafeteria not only acts as a place to retreat to during working hours but is also a social hub for your employees and even an informal meeting room for guests. Here are some simple steps to ensuring that your office canteen is perfect for all of your employees:
Create a Space That’s Suitable for Everyone
While office cafeterias are primarily used for eating lunch, some employees like to use this space to have a quick coffee break or to get some peace and quiet. Dividing your canteen space into two is a great way to ensure that the lunch-eaters don’t disturb the coffee drinkers and vice versa. If you work in a large office, having designated areas will also help to regulate ‘traffic’ and prevent long queues especially during busy lunch hours. For small offices where the canteen is only used by a handful of people, separate your space with the use of soft seating and sofas. High-Back Sofas are a great way to prevent noise from traveling around the room while offering a comfortable alternative to plastic canteen seats.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your canteen. It’s a part of the office that you can really be eccentric without being considered too over-the-top. That being said, there are certain colours that you should refrain from using too much of. One of these colours is yellow. While it reminds us of happiness and the sun, yellow can be too overpowering if used in large doses and it can actually cause employees to feel anxious and irritated. Try use complimentary colours, such as blue and orange, as these will help to create a happy and positive atmosphere. Using different colours and funky ideas for your canteen will allow your staff to fully disconnect from the office while on their break.
Have Some Fun
Table tennis, foosball and pool are just a few examples of ways that you can encourage your staff to engage in non-work-related activities. Many world-renowned companies, such as Indeed, Google and Facebook, have adopted the idea that your workplace should also be a place where you can socialise, interact with your colleagues and have some fun. If you’re worried about game tables or other forms of entertainment being too distracting for your employees, that will in turn decrease productivity, think about having some rules such as allocating specific hours that the games are out of bounds. If games tables are too large or out of your budget range, think about installing a TV in your canteen. This is a cost-effective way to keep your staff entertained and up-to-date.
Think Outside the Box
It’s always a good idea to ask your staff what they would like to see in their canteen. Make sure that your space is tailor-made to your staff’s needs and that they feel like their contributions are valued. Dedicate a wall in the canteen to communicating what’s going on in different departments of the company. This is a fun way for staff to share not only vital information (such as important business events) but also staff achievements, bake sales and even inspirational quotes to keep each other motivated. This way, your canteen becomes an interactive place where staff members can share their ideas and keep up to date with important information. Ensure that everyone works together in keeping their canteen clean, especially if you host regular client lunches. In turn, this will create a more pleasant environment to work in.