The kitchen is a key part of the office. It’s not only a place for employees to refuel and refresh themselves, but it is also a place for people to share ideas and form strong working relationships. With 57% of employees expressing that having a work kitchen would make them more productive, why not invest in making this space as accommodating as possible? If the kitchen area in your office is old, run down and rarely used, make 2016 the year that you update it.
Here are some of the elements you should consider in your office kitchen to fully promote health and wellness as well as productivity.
The ideal workplace kitchen should promote the overall wellness of your employees. You can accomplish this by creating an environment that allows employees to relax, both physically and mentally.
If you are able to alter the layout of your office kitchen, try to make it open and centrally located, making it easily accessible to all employees. This enables people to cross paths, mingle and collaborate — all of which are behaviors you want your new kitchen to encourage. The layout and location should ideally encourage people from neighboring departments to spend time together, allowing employees to share knowledge and experiences that deepen everyone’s understanding of how the organization works.
Design the space to be expansive, airy and bright to create a refreshing and uplifting atmosphere that reduces stress. Natural light with large windows is best, but artificial lighting can also help if natural light isn’t an option. The amount of light should be sufficient to allow employees to read easily, but it should be soft rather than harsh. If your artificial lighting appears seems too harsh, try using shades to diffuse the light throughout the kitchen area. You can also improve the distribution of light with thoughtful placement of lamps and wall lighting, along with overhead lights.
It is essential to offer supplies and tools to help employees clean up after themselves. Dirty dishes and leftover food scraps attract vermin and pose a health hazard. To combat these situations from arising, provide a dishwasher, ample sinks and garbage bins to help employees clear up their mess after they enjoy a quick bite.
Your new kitchen must be a pleasant place to spend time. By thinking about factors such as space, lighting and food preparation facilities, you can create a kitchen where employees love to mingle.
Key Products to Include
Design your kitchen to maximize productivity! Including the following furniture pieces and products in your work cafe will allow your employees to work more effectively (and happily)!
If you really want to bring people together in your organization, you need to make your kitchen area more than just a place to grab a quick snack. Equip your space with seating options that allow employees to get comfy and swap ideas with their coworkers.
Tables and chairs that can easily be moved around and arranged allow employees to collaborate with each other in an informal environment. We suggest choosing tables and chairs that match the overall style and color palette of your kitchen to create a cohesive design. Offering an abundance of seating allows other employees to freely join in the discussion.
Couches are another great option if you want to encourage rest and relaxation. Leather or vinyl couches are easier to clean than fabric. Be sure to choose a fun, modern design to feed into your new dynamic workplace environment.
Since you want to encourage employees to use this new space as an area for work and collaboration, as well as relaxation, make sure there are multiple outlets or charging stations that they can plug their laptops or devices into. To go a step further, you could provide extra monitors in this area to really let workers get in the zone.
Healthy Snack Stations
Look to provide areas for employees to prepare healthy snacks. When kitchen facilities are limited, employees often resort to eating prepared, highly processed snacks like chips, chocolate bars or candy. These foods don’t provide the nutritional benefits your employees need to focus during a tough day at work.
An example area would be providing your employees with ample counter space to chop up vegetables for a salad. Also, supplying a fridge for storing fresh foods, and a water cooler so employees don’t turn to soda would be great additions to your workplace kitchen.
There are endless possibilities of products that you could include in your new work kitchen. When choosing products, consider how your employees will use them, as well as how well they will fit in with the overall design and feel of your office. (And if you aren’t able to do a complete redesign of your current work kitchen, consider adding a coffee station in a central location to create a new collaboration spot!)
If you’ve been putting off a kitchen redesign, make this year the year that your office kitchen gets a much-needed makeover. Creating an attractive cafe for employees can strengthen relationships and encourage the sharing of ideas. However, we understand it can be difficult to know where to start with the design of your new work cafe. If you need help designing your perfect work kitchen, contact us today for inspiration and space planning services.