The pandemic of 2020 has affected everything work related including the break room experience. For many Jacksonville businesses, the pre-COVID break room was a multi-purpose space that offered both tangible and intangible employee benefits. It was a gathering space, a workspace, and a place to relax as well as being the hub of all things edible. Workplace culture and company morale could be positively impacted by the experiences that employees had there.
Before March of 2020, Jacksonville break rooms were used in many ways including:
- buffet-style lunches
- free bagels or donuts—something that gets everyone excited in the morning
- birthday celebrations with cakes and cookies
- on-site café-style coffee menus
- catered working lunches
- communal kitchens with snacks and beverages
- community breakfasts
- free snacks, beverages, and fresh food
- potluck meals and other holiday celebrations
- fresh food and coffee options—encouraging employees to stay on-site and increasing productivity
While many traditional ways of doing things are on hold, at least for now, it doesn’t mean employers and employees are left without options. There are still many ways that employers can safely provide snacks, fresh food, cold beverages, and coffee options that will boost morale and continue to decrease the need to go off-site.
Rather than offering free donuts in the morning, snacks in bulk, or a shared potluck meal, fresh food and snacks should be prepackaged. Choices such as individually wrapped muffins or donuts, prepackaged mixed nuts, and a prepared salad or sandwich are great options. Fortunately, many employers already have systems in place to provide those types of refreshments.
Additionally, all the products in vending machines and most of the products available in micro-markets are prepackaged. For those products that weren’t prepackaged before March 2020, there are now solutions available and changes that can be made to overcome this obstacle. Employers need to work with their refreshment provider to customize a solution for their specific situation.
Implementing a variety of safety precautions connected directly to the break room can not only decrease exposure, but it can also help support company culture. Jacksonville employees who feel that their employer cares about their health and well-being are more likely to be invested in their job and be more productive.
In addition to prepackaged options, break room safety protocols can include directions for picking up or touching items in multiple situations such as using hand sanitizer before touching a kiosk or vending machine or using a paper towel as a barrier when opening a cooler in a micro-market. Extra signs with messages such as “if you touch it, please take it” can help remind everyone to limit the number of items they touch.
Does your Jacksonville break room check off all the boxes? Sorting out the different ways to modify it can be time consuming. The Vending Station can help you figure out the answers, so it meets today’s needs and has the potential to meet tomorrows. We offer customized refreshment menus that will fit your current needs and will work with you to adapt your break room as your employees’ needs change. For more information about our range of services, please call us at (407) 891.7632.