Break Room Basics: 4 Things Every Office Needs


By Anica Oaks

Proper rest and meal breaks are vital for a productive staff. They’re also mandated by law in each of the 50 states, with most states requiring at least a 20-minute break by the fifth hour of a shift. To boost morale, however, employers should take it one step further by creating a comfortable atmosphere in the break room. While some employees will prefer eating at their desk, the break room should be an inviting space with proper amenities that foster relaxation so employees can truly recharge their minds and bodies.

Large companies like Google and Facebook are known for their lavish break rooms replete with large-screen televisions, pool tables and sectionals, with the objective of exceeding basic needs to keep workers happy and feeling valued. Granted, most companies don’t have millions of dollars or comparable space to devote to the break room, but the underlying objective should still stand. Below are four features every break room should have.

Comfortable Seating

Folding tables and chairs might be the most convenient and economical option, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best when it comes to break room furniture. The following are a few points to consider in your selection:

  • Comfort. Ergonomically designed chairs, or at the very least padded seating, should be the first choice.
  • Aesthetics. This should apply to the break room overall. Sterile or dull colors are depressing, as are the bland designs of folding furniture. The room should feel inviting and offer a different atmosphere from the work space.
  • Size. This factor is contingent upon space, but a few small tables foster more social engagement.
  • Durability. The furniture should be easy to clean and able to withstand constant use, which is why it’s better to shop at stores specializing in office furniture rather than a general furniture store.

A sofa also serves as a place for employees to relax if they’re taking a rest period instead of a full meal break.


Having a television in the break room is a good distraction that can stave off mental fatigue. Employers can choose to offer only the broadcast networks or sign up for a basic cable plan that features a sports network, news programming and a movie channel.

Vending Machines

Whether it’s drinks or something to nosh on, vending machines are a must in every break room. If an employee’s on a 10-minute break, they won’t have time to leave the premises to buy something or finish the lunch they packed. Having a vending machine stacked with a variety of drinks and snacks is a great convenience. They’re also a way to earn additional revenue for the company via the rent paid by the vending machine owners.

Alternatively, companies can choose to supply their own machines for the break room. You can lease or buy used vending machines from a company like Westway Sales that offers a wide range of machines as well as parts for servicing, thereby eliminating the middleman.

Coffee Machine

The last and arguably most important requirement for a break room is a coffee machine. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans are admittedly addicted to coffee. More than 50 percent of those surveyed have at least one cup a day with most coffee drinkers averaging almost three cups a day. Providing free coffee or other hot beverages for your employees is a simple way to demonstrate your appreciation. The money they’ll be saving is an added bonus.

When designing and furnishing a break room, the goal in mind should always be creating a space clearly differentiated from the work environment where employees can recharge. The more inviting the space, the happier the employee.

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

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Slick Software Setups Your Company Should Consider


By Brooke Chaplan

Businesses are always looking for an edge to grow their customer base and expand their market shares. Luckily there are many software programs capable of achieving both regardless of industry. Slick software setups are the ones with versatile applications and that stay cost-effective and efficient. Finding software that integrates with current applications is essential so below is a review of four to consider that are all customer and employee-centered.

Customer Relations Management Software
When businesses prioritize customer information, the process to build a loyal customer base is increased. The data can be used for sending out coupons based on buying trends, developing leads from previous purchases, feedback follow-ups, and more. Ideal CRM software will have a central dashboard that managers monitor with real-time numbers, and where decisions can be made quickly, or future plans for a marketing campaign developed.
In addition, employee access can be granted based on job description or department specific. Companies are free to design the infrastructure and better streamline processes. For example, customer service would work with profiles for problem-resolution. They could also use a variety of outlets to respond to customer inquiries. Sales can take on a proactive role by spending time with customers promoting products and services.

Database and Document Software
Brands rely on accurate and timely information to manage on-going operations. Robust and agile software that can store and record relevant documents is critical. Applications that have a suite of varied options such as spreadsheets and word processing would be an efficient choice since there is a clear distinction between a database and document processing. For example, databases are used for structuring and maintaining business information, while letters, contracts, and literature are handled by the document component. Software that also creates presentations would fall under this category.

On-boarding Software
With each new hire, your human resources department is responsible for a number of important actions. For starters, ensuring important forms are completed, such as tax, payroll, and insurance. This is followed by timely filing with the appropriate agencies. HR software is made with a built-in database for employee contracts and employment practices and policies. On-boarding software takes on a substantial amount of these tasks, reducing the responsibilities of employees.
There are more features to this type of application such as training which can be used to introduce consumers to current and future services and products. In addition, an option to have a paperless environment is one of the latest components offered and software that manages employee obligations and is customer centered can be a substantial asset.

Payroll and Accounting Software

An increased number of software packages work to combine payroll and accounting. This provides companies with seamless financial transactions. For payroll, salaries are calculated with taxes deducted followed by electronic submission. The billing feature generates invoices for accounts receivable, while checks are cut to pay vendors. More features include funding account safeguards, automatic payment scheduling, and aggregate reporting to monitor budgets.

Software that can perform multiple tasks in one program are the best to have. To get ahead, businesses may want to take a look some discussed here. Before the final decision is made, ensure the choice integrates with cloud computing. To store and move information in this ecosystem, compatibility concerns must be address. A caveat is to invest in software that has a proven track record. For the best results you may want to work with Utah app developers or software firms to get a customized product that works exclusively for your business.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.