Basics for the Office Lunch Room of your Business
The office lunch room is more than simply a place that employees can eat their week-old pizza. It is also a necessary place of which all small business owners should carefully plan out. A good lunch room can make a big difference in employee satisfaction. There are some certain qualities you need to provide in a lunch room, along with lunchroom necessities such as tables, chairs, and refrigerator. Let us discuss those necessities and why each is important to account for in your office lunch room.
It’s first and foremost a place to eat and for employees to take needed breaks while on the job. If you try and forego an office lunchroom to try and save office space or for future business expansion, forget it. In my experience, not having a separate area in which workers are able to “get away” from the workspace and refresh from the rigors of emailing clients and taking phone calls from angry customers, then disinterest and poor working habits set in quickly. I remember my first office job. It was a small startup of which I primarily updated company spreadsheets. For the first couple months our little business did not have a lunch/break room. I would sit at my desk to eat lunch, then when finished I would begin work on my computer. In an hour or so, the last thing I wanted was to be sitting in that chair at my computer. I hated not having a lunch room.
What you need:
Cabinets, drawers, cubbies.
You need areas to store kitchen supplies to allow a neat and tidy lunch space. Allow an area of which you can store plastic utensils, paper plates, cups, paper towels, and extra napkins.
Plastic utensils, paper plates, cups, paper towels, napkins. These are not overly expensive, but it’s better than having a dishful of dirty dishes of which employees either don’t want to or don’t have time to wash before lunch break is over. You don’t want employees bringing their own dishes either, then you have to hold each accountable for washing/storing and it just becomes a big hassle to deal with. Ensure you have disposable kitchen supplies and a high capacity waste basket to dispose of them.
Tables, chairs, couches, etc.
This is probably the most obvious and relates back to my own personal story. If there isn’t a place to sit and relax to get away from the work area you force employees to sit at their desks. From my perspective, sitting in the same spot for lunch and work affects my working performance and attitude while at work.
Many employees will want to bring leftovers from home or something they made that requires keeping chilled. This may be ham sandwich, lasagna, burritos, or whatever else employees choose to eat at lunch. Not having a fridge or multiple refrigeration units available severely restricts what food items employees choose to have for work. This is a major inconvenience.
I’m a coffee fan. It gives me a jolt of energy in the morning and helps motivate me for the upcoming day. If I can wake up 15 minutes later in the morning because I know I can make coffee at the office and throughout the day, this makes me happy. Coffee is a great option for employees, and benefits employers with greater work productivity.
If you’ve got a refrigerator, you’ll also need something to heat that chilled food up. Nobody wants to eat cold spaghetti and because Hotpockets are a quick and easy way for anyone eating lunch, not having a microwave disallows eating similar uncooked food items.
A dull lunch room, while not a big deal, isn’t a great way to accommodate guests or potential employees/clients. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant, but a few Ansel Adams portraits, artificial flowerpots, or anything in-between can go a long way in making the office lunchroom feeling warm and inviting.
Televisions, vending machines, etc. Not necessary items, but can liven the lunch room and possibly make a few extra bucks with a vending machine contract.
Hopefully these tips were useful when planning how to organize your office lunch room. Remember to have the essentials on hand at all times. This means checking supplies and ensuring all disposable items are stocked, ensuring the quality of tables and chairs is maintained and nothing is broken, and if the power goes out the refrigerator is emptied. It doesn’t take much effort to maintain a great office lunch room, just make sure you know the importance of one and why employees truly value the time and effort put into one.