Long shifts on the job in the medical field can be exhausting, both mentally and physically, and giving employees a safe haven where they can relax and enjoy a physical and mental break is important. A good break not only makes employees more productive when they return to work, it improves the quality of patient care as well. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on fancy upgrades, but if you invest in these important essentials, your healthcare breakroom will boost employee satisfaction, productivity, and state of mind immediately.
1. Coffee Maker
Buy a good coffee maker and some good coffee for the break room, and don’t forget all the important extras – cream, sugar (sugar substitutes for the health conscious), stirrers, and cups. Not only does free coffee seem like a nice perk for employees, but coffee is a nice pick-me-up for those working long, tough shifts. In fact, caffeine actually boosts mental energy and focus, giving healthcare workers a boost when they head back to their patients.
2. Healthy Snack Choices
Sure, most healthcare facilities boast vending machines for a quick snack, but healthy snack choices are a great addition to the breakroom. Sometimes those breaks only last a few minutes before medical professionals are needed back on the floor, and sometimes meals get skipped in the rush of patient care. A health snack can help curb hunger without leading to insulin spikes, which may lead to a crash later in the shift. Snacks that include veggies, yogurt, whole grains, and nuts are great choices.
3. Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is just about everywhere in the healthcare facility, but make sure it’s in the breakroom too. Before employees eat or grab some of that free coffee, the ability to sanitize is important, so make the hand sanitizer easily accessible.
4. Games and Craft Supplies
Adding games and craft supplies to your healthcare breakroom may sound strange, but they’re actually an important addition. Games and crafts allow medical professionals to engage and unwind with an activity that isn’t stressful, relieving stress and promoting productivity when your employees get back with patients. If you provide multiplayer games, these games can also help strengthen your team by promoting bonding among employees.
5. Comfortable Seating and Seat Pads
Most medical professionals get only two or three minutes a day to actually sit down, so make sure your breakroom offers some comfortable seating. Since you probably won’t add recliners to the breakroom, seating pads offer the perfect way to upgrade chairs that you already have, or chairs that are just lacking something in the comfort department. Your workers spend hours on their feet – they deserve a few moments of comfort when they actually get a break.
6. Scented Plug-Ins
Bad smells often come with the job when you work in healthcare, so do everyone’s nose a favor and invest in some scented plug-ins for the breakroom. Try relaxing scents, such as fresh linen or lavender, which will help combat the often smelly, stressful nature of the job.
7. Electronics Chargers
There’s nothing worse for an employee than to need to make a phone call on their break, only to realize their battery is dead. Offer some electronics chargers around the breakroom so everyone can plug in their devices when they’re low on battery juice and even lower on their patience.
8. Simple Exercise Equipment
Not only is a bit of exercise a great way to deal with some stress, it can also help medical professionals keep moving if they’re a little over caffeinated. Grab an exercise ball, hand weights, and other simple exercise equipment that lets employees relieve stress in a healthy way.
9. Television/DVD Player
A television and DVD player can be a great addition to the breakroom at your healthcare facility, and they’re great for both entertaining and informing employees. News channels can help keep employees informed on things going on in the world outside of their job. Kicking back for a few with a funny show can go a long way to improving an employee’s frame of mind before they return back to work.
10. Decorations and Bulletin Board
Don’t leave the breakroom with bare, white walls. Instead, use decorations and a nice bulletin board to make it a stimulating, relaxing place for healthcare employees to go. Motivational posters, community bulletin boards, or a little paint on the walls can go a long way to creating an interesting environment.
You don’t have to spend a huge amount of money to create a breakroom that makes employees happy while boosting productivity. However, with a bit of effort, you can create a healthcare breakroom where your medical professionals can have a few moments to refresh and relax themselves before they head back to work. And that’s only going to benefit your facility and patients in the long run.