The meeting room is not the heart of your office. If you want to promote company culture and build a strong collective, it’s vital to pay attention to other areas of your office and provide a place for relaxation and comfort. People are building meaningful relationships at work, and they want to talk to each other more than ever. That’s why it’s in your best interest to make a great office kitchen that will enable your employees to take a break and form stronger connections with other colleagues.
Work-life balance is essential, and many employers want to ensure that their team members are working in a comfortable environment. Their employees are both happy and productive, and they know how to create a healthy balance that allows them to get the best of both worlds. If you want to provide comfort and a place where people can refuel and take a break, renovate your office kitchen and make changes that last.
Find a new design
Your new office kitchen should reflect your values and promote wellness. It should be a place where people can store their food or take a break after a long or exhausting meeting. Your kitchen design will affect the mood of your employees. It’s vital to pay attention to details and do your best not to overcrowd this area with furniture. Find a new colour scheme that is pleasing to the eye. Warm colours will relax your employees and make them feel like they’re sitting in their living room or kitchen.
It’s advisable not to overwhelm them with bright or dark colours. The idea is to create a spacious area where your team members will feel free to express themselves and dedicate some time to other activities.
Let the natural light in
Natural light can make your office kitchen feel lighter and spacious. Hang curtains that will allow the light to come in, and ventilate the area whenever possible. This atmosphere can brighten up people’s day and make them feel calmer and at ease.
Lighter space will boost their productivity, which is why it’s in your best interest to invest in bigger windows. Natural light will boost vitamin D and increase serotonin levels. Your employees will be much happier and open to new ideas if you change the atmosphere and enable them to enjoy more during their shifts.
Change the layout
Before you design a kitchen layout, it’s vital to learn which options would be the best for this area of your office. Faulty design or layout can do more harm than good. If you don’t want your employees to avoid this area after the renovation, you need to find the most efficient kitchen layout and use it as a guide on your journey.
Your employees will spend a lot of time here, which is why you need to enable them to move freely and without disrupting each other. Place a table in the centre and opt for chairs without arms so that you can place more furniture around the table.
Mix up seating arrangements by placing a few chairs around the bar or near the kitchen counter. If your kitchen is spacious and more than ten people can stay there without feeling uncomfortable, place a few bean bags near the windows. That way, your employees will have a few options to choose from and shift from one area to another. They won’t feel obligated to leave if their colleagues arrive and want to spend some time in the kitchen.
Set the basic rules
After you renovate your office kitchen, it’s vital to set rules that will remind employees to take care of this area. You’re investing in their comfort and providing additional space for rest, and they should take care of it and keep it tidy and neat. Create a schedule and remind them to clean the fridge, counters and appliances, and check for spoiled foods or drinks. They should store their food properly and inform you if they notice that they’re running out of some supplies. Highlight the importance of regular cleaning, and motivate them to declutter the office kitchen and wash their dishes before their shift ends.
Change the lighting system
If your employees can stay in the office during the afternoon or work overtime, lighting will affect their performance and mood. Lighting is a vital part of your office design, and you should do your best to create an atmosphere that is appropriate for this area. Incandescent light can be one of the better options for your office kitchen because it provides warm yellow light that won’t overwhelm your employees. This type of lighting is relaxing, and it can lower the risk of migraines.
Ambient lighting is ideal if you want to celebrate the success of your company in the kitchen, but it can also create a cozy atmosphere or highlight luxurious elements or elegance. It’s advisable to avoid small and decorative lamps. Your employees can knock them down, and they’re not very practical or necessary.
Find suitable seating
There are various ways to provide comfort, but nothing is more important than comfortable seating. Your employees have to stay in the office for eight or more hours, and you need to think about their physical health if you want them to show better results and boost productivity. Chairs without arms don’t have to be uncomfortable, and you can find a modern design for an affordable price. Every employee should sit on an ergonomic chair while they’re working. But, you don’t have to consider these options while you’re working on kitchen design. Chairs with adjustable height will serve well, but tulip chairs are also an adequate solution.
Invest in technology
Encouraging your employees to spend more time together can be very beneficial for your company. New connections will encourage people to work with other team members and rely on each other more. A shared workplace can improve their performance, and you should encourage them to spend more time in the kitchen and share their ideas with their colleagues.
You can inspire them to spend more time in the kitchen by allowing them to use more extension cords or add more outlets to an existing circuit. More people would be able to stay in the kitchen at the same time and work alone or in groups. New monitors or tablets will inspire these changes, and you should provide them if you have a budget for additional details.
Treat them with healthy snacks
Taking a break is much more satisfying if you have your favourite snacks on your desk. If your company doesn’t provide free meals for your employees, it would be nice to provide other basic snacks and beverages. Teas, coffee, nuts and candy are not expensive, but they can remind your team members that you appreciate them. Ask them what they like, but motivate them to make healthier choices and take care of their physical and mental health.
Some employees tend to eat chips, milk chocolate or other processed goods, but if you provide free options at healthy snack stations, they won’t feel the need to equip themselves with more snacks. There is a variety of products that you can include and place around your new kitchen. Almonds and walnuts can improve cognition, and green tea can increase engagement. Peppermint tea is good for concentration, and coffee is ideal for short productivity boosts. Coffee machines are essential, but you should also invest in water coolers.
Find adequate appliances
Appliances are vital for this area because they will allow your employees to reheat their food or make coffee and tea. Everybody wants to enjoy a warm meal or eat fresh ingredients whenever possible. Spacious kitchens have enough room for a small oven or a stove, and these appliances can change the way your employees pack and eat their meals.
Warn them about the dangers of malfunctions and advise them to report them as soon as they notice the first signs of hazards. Urgent oven repairs can save your appliance and protect your employees from accidental fires. Take care of faulty wiring and other defects, and protect your office, documentation and other possessions from damage.
Mini fridges are too small if you work with more than ten people. Refrigerators are essential, and if you don’t have enough space in the kitchen for this appliance, you can place it somewhere else. It’s often hard to find devices for a small kitchen. Ask your employees to tell you what they need the most or provide essentials.
Keep your employees safe
Accidents happen everywhere, and they can harm your employees and destroy your property. Kitchen appliances can stop working, and faulty wiring can damage people around you. We’re all forgetful, which is why it’s advisable to leave reminders that will help you prevent accidents and property damage. Remind your employees to turn off the stove and check everything before they leave.
At the end of each day, they should unplug all devices. Highlight the importance of these practices because they can help you avoid costly damage. The floors in your kitchen should always be clean. Removing the everyday accumulation of dirt and grease can be frustrating and tiring, but it’s vital not to skip these steps.
Keep at least one fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and don’t forget to install smoke detectors. Inspect your safety devices at least twice a year, and teach your employees what to do if they notice smoke or fire in the kitchen.
Creating a new area for your employees doesn’t have to be draining. Talk about your budget and determine their needs before you start your new renovation project. If you have enough finances, it’s advisable to hire an interior designer and allow them to help you make better choices. Your employees will appreciate your efforts, and they will love the final results if you consider their suggestions.
Keep in mind that you can discuss your company goals and progress in this area or celebrate your greatest moments with your team members. A new kitchen can boost employee productivity and engagement. Give them time to adapt to the new work environment, and your team members will share more ideas with each other, and they will also look forward to future collaboration.
BIO: Ron Wolf is a hobby designer and a DIY enthusiast, and, above all, a very blessed father of two. Besides that, he has a strong passion for writing. He is a featured blogger at various blogs and magazines in which he shared his research and experience with the vast online community. If he is not working he enjoys being outside with his family. Hiking, bike riding, and BBQing are always a thing for him. In the evening, he likes to watch documentaries or build something with kids in their l