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How to Set Up a Lunchroom

Most offices have lunchrooms, but they aren’t normally at the top of the priority list when designing a new office space. However, a well-designed breakroom can make a big difference in the day-to-day work lives of your employees. Functional, good-looking lunchrooms can increase how often employees utilize the space, decreasing their desire to go out for lunch and enabling them to make healthier, less expensive eating choices.

Tables

One of the first things you’ll want to decide when designing your breakroom is what type of tables you need since tables can take up quite a bit of space in the room. Standard height cafeteria tables with attached or separate chairs are great options for large, open spaces. If you have a smaller room, you may consider smaller café tables that take up less physical and visual space. Lunchroom tables come in a huge assortment of styles and sizes, so you should have no problem finding the one that’s right for you.

Chairs

If you do not select a table with built-in seating, you’ll need chairs to go with your tables. Choose a collection with matching tables and chairs, or go with something totally different. If you select café tables, make sure you get stools of the correct height to ensure your employees are comfortable while seated. Choose from folding, stacking, mobile, and nesting chairs that are easy to move around and store when needed. Remember, armless chairs will make it much easier for users to get up close to the table to eat. 

Magazine Racks

Offering magazines to employees in your breakroom is a great way to keep them happy on their lunch breaks, especially for those who may have forgotten to bring their own reading material. Choose either a wall-mounted or freestanding magazine holder, and keep it well-stocked with the latest issues of the magazines your company subscribes to.

Message Boards

Message boards are a great addition to any lunchroom because they help get company messages across to employees much quicker when placed in a room that employees frequent. Because your employees will be utilizing your beautiful new lunchroom regularly, they’re sure to walk by your message board often, provided you place it in an easy-to-see spot.

Waste Receptacles

Although they aren’t the most glamorous items you’ll buy for your lunchroom, waste receptacles are essential. Before making a purchase, decide where your trash cans will be placed in your lunchroom and measure the space. You’ll also want to determine how many garbage and recycling bins will be needed right away since you can usually get a discount when ordering multiple receptacles at the same time.

Refrigerators

Don’t forget the refrigerator! The size of your company and the size of your lunchroom will determine how large or small of a refrigerator you’ll be able to get and how many you’ll need. Whether you need a large fridge/freezer combo or would rather equip your space with multiple small refrigerators, you have plenty of options.

How to Unwind at Work in 30 Minutes or Less

Are you maximizing your lunch break at work and enjoying it to the fullest? Many of us don’t realize just how important this midday break is for our mental and physical well-being; therefore, we don’t use it correctly. To recharge yourself for what’s left of the afternoon, take these tips for unwinding during your lunch break.

Meditate

Take deep breaths in and out or stare up at the ceiling for 60 seconds. Looking upward stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, lowering blood pressure and slowing down the pace of your breath. Slow, deliberate counting will also help you clear your mind, shifting your focus away from your stressors and back to the here and now.

Relax

This may seem obvious to some, but workaholics take heed. Your lunch break is supposed to be just that—a break. Even if you’re feeling exhausted from a rough morning workload or anxious about an important afternoon meeting, don’t throw away your lunch break stressing out about it. We’re only humans, and we need time to recuperate in the middle of a busy day. Don’t check email or bring your work with you to lunch. Instead, take a walk, read a book, or do whatever you like to do to unwind.

Enjoy Your Food

The key to a good breakfast is to eat healthily, but feel free to treat yourself during your lunch break. Although you should try to stick to healthy meal options most of the time, don’t be afraid to eat something you really love once or twice a week. It’ll boost your mood and put you in better spirits than eating the same salad 5 days in a row will. Cheeseburgers, anyone?

Step Away From the Desk

Many office employees stay at their desks for lunch or work right through it. Doing this every once in a while may be necessary, but this should be a rare occurrence. Utilize your company’s breakroom or get out of the office altogether. Stepping away from your desk for half an hour or so will help put you in a better frame of mind, and you’ll work more productively when you return to your desk in the afternoon.

Chat With Coworkers

Whether it’s your office bestie or a new employee, chatting with someone over lunch can be a great way to unwind between working hours. Try not to talk too much about work, which can lead to more stress and anxiety. Lunch is an ideal time to socialize.

Get Active

Whether it’s utilizing the gym in your office or going for a walk outside on a nice day, getting yourself moving is a great way to reenergize before you head back to your desk. Of course, utilizing a standing desk while you’re working doesn’t hurt either!

Give Your Eyes a Rest

It may be tempting to get stuck in your cell phone or laptop during your lunch break, but try to avoid all screens while you’re on lunch. Not only will it help you refocus your energy on other things, but it’ll give your eyes a break and keep them from becoming too tired after staring at a computer screen the rest of the day.

Time It Right

30 to 60 minutes is the ideal amount of time for a break. Any shorter and you aren’t giving yourself enough time to regroup, but you’ll feel groggier when you return to your desk if you go any longer.

Write Down What’s Stressing You Out

Write down the thing or things that are stressing you out (work-related or otherwise), and set them aside for tomorrow. Jotting down your worries and then physically setting them aside makes it a little easier to take your mind off them, and coming back to them the next day will allow you to approach the issues with renewed vigor.