State-of-the-art Break Rooms – Part 3 – The Non-negotiables of a Breakroom

This is Part 3 of a 3-part Series: The Non-negotiables of a Breakroom.

Creating a modern, inviting breakroom for employees is essential for maintaining an efficient, productive workplace. You first have to ask yourself, what is the point of a breakroom?  A break room is a designated area where employees can take a break from their daily tasks. It is a place where they can socialize with co-workers and relax. A break room allows workers to re-energize and refresh. It can also be used as a space to collaborate, share ideas, and work on projects together.

In talking with some of the experts in the field, there seems to be 3 “must have” aspects to consider when you are creating a break room that employees will love and appreciate. 


The more serious your work is, the more you need to have fun on your breaks. 

  • A great way to unwind and destress is to play games. Pool tables, air hockey, darts and other interactive games can add a greater physical element to sideline stress and help employees regain focus.  
  • If space is limited, consider having a community puzzle everyone can work on, or a community white board where a trivia question is posed or a story is started and each person adds a word.
  • Decorations for the season, events and holidays; a bulletin board with an employee highlight of the month: favorite foods, pets, family, hobbies.

“Break rooms are more than a place to store your lunch, buy a snack or snag a cup of coffee. Break rooms are a place where employees can step out of the work zone without stepping out of the office. Break rooms offer a place where people can develop friendships within the company. It is also a place to unwind.”



Quick – what are the top three things you think when you hear the words “take a break”? 

  • Put your feet up and relax
  • Have a cup of exceptional, fresh coffee
  • Grab a snack or some lunch

If your break room allows for those three, you have yourself a functional break room.  But don’t stop there!  There’s coffee… and then there’s coffee. Is your break room truly a place where people can go to relax, or are there TVs blaring & fluorescent lights glaring? Are the fridge, microwave, and coffee pot clean?  Is it a place where people can enjoy their lunch, helping your employees to “rest & digest”?  Your answers to these questions will help you determine if your break room is serving its intended purpose or not.  
At garten, visual merchandising is a cornerstone of our brand experience. We’ve built our experience to influence healthy and productive decisions, while making it a place where your team can connect, refuel, and relax. We always use the best materials, natural elements, varied textures and eye-catching pieces.  Let us know how we can help you design a functional break room that ticks all the boxes!


Ultimately, if you are not walking away from your break feeling refreshed and ready for another round of work, then there is room for improvement.  We at garten put the emphasis on “fresh”.  You can’t “re” fresh without it.  And, when we think fresh, we think of food.  You have to ask yourself if the snacks available in the break room are reflecting this ideal.  When your employees eat from the food that is available, will they tank 90 minutes later?  Will their blood sugar crash from the rushed energy buzz they get from over-processed, sugar high carbs?  Or will they stay steady through the afternoon by having a balance of healthy carbs, good fat, and high quality protein?

When we asked, “What are ‘must-haves’ in a Fun, reFreshing, and Functional break room?”, the answer was fresh healthy food providing energy to get through the day.  But variety is also key, keeping the selection fresh and seasonal as well, with great merchandising to draw the eye in and options that are healthier overall.  That’s why, at garten, we are committed to providing the best training for our partners that aligns with the “look and feel” of the vision of the program through 3 different avenues:

  1. In-Office Kitchen: One solution for offering employees healthy food during work hours is to have an in-office kitchen. This kitchen can be equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, and other appliances that allow employees to prepare their own meals. Having an in-office kitchen also allows for the implementation of a company-wide initiative to reduce processed and unhealthy food options.
  2. Catered Meals: Another solution is to offer catered meals for employees during work hours. Garten works with local catering companies that specialize in healthy and nutritious meals. This option can be especially beneficial for companies that have a high employee turnover rate or for those who have employees that work long hours.
  3. Employee Education: A third solution is to offer employee education on healthy eating. This can be done through our self-serve garten Experiences platform with workshops, seminars, or online resources. By educating employees on the importance of healthy eating and providing them with the tools and resources they need to make healthier food choices, companies can create a culture of health and wellness.  From a recent nutrition class held, “Janine was well knowledgeable about nutrition and Nuance employees had wonderful feedback!”. 

Overall, by providing employees with these non-negotiable resources, companies can improve employee productivity, reduce absenteeism, and promote a culture of health and wellness. It’s important to remember that different solutions will work better for different companies and it’s important to find the right combination of solutions that work best for your organization and employees.  Let us know how we can help!