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The Rise of Recreation Rooms in the Corporate World

Updated 07 December 2022.

The Corporate World Just Got Serious About Spare Time

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” We’ve heard this proverb countless times. The message is simple. Taking time off from work is crucial; otherwise, Jack will become bored and boring. Jack is all of us, whether you’re a student, an employee, or a CEO.

Attaining a work-life balance is easier said than done, however. As a business owner, your goal is to satisfy your clients, but that does not mean you have to forget about your employees’ happiness. Whilst there are many suggestions on how to make sure employees are happy and productive, there’s one way we know for sure. That’s by having areas for recreational activities.


What is a Workplace Recreation Room?

Recreation rooms are said to improve employees’ mental well-being. This results in increased productivity. It may sound ironic, but best-in-class companies like Amazon, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google include recreational activities for their employees. It is one of the key ingredients to their long-standing success.

But what exactly is a recreation room? It can be anything from rooms where employees can play games like pool, watch TV, relax, or improve their fitness. Recreation rooms are popular, especially in Australia, Europe, and the United States. They help boost camaraderie and morale whilst stimulating the brain. Typically, the purpose of recreational rooms is to keep employees from getting bored. That way, when they return to their desks, they feel refreshed and are, therefore, more productive.


The Undeniable Link Between Employee Productivity and Recreation

Let’s face it. Work-life balance is mostly a myth for Australians. This is where we bring the case for recreation rooms. We guarantee that allowing employees to take a break and have a little bit of fun without leaving the office can enhance productivity. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the following:

  • A study showed that workplace recreation resulted in 92% employee satisfaction, which improved performance.
  • A 2019 study found that increase in leisure time raises labour productivity.
  • Another study focused on recreational activities that supported not just productivity but also the profitability of a company.
  • $190 billion is spent on psychological and physical burnout side effects every year.

You don’t have to build a smart office with loads of entertainment options. It can be as simple as a pool table from Quedos, especially if you need a bigger space in the workplace. With a pool table, your employees can take a break and play a game of pool, which can have several positive benefits for the whole team:


1. Lessen Stress

Everyone deals with stress, including your employees. Most people spend at least eight hours at the workplace, which can lead to stress and anxiety. Investing in a well-designed recreation room where employees can spend 30 to 45 minutes taking a break can already give them the boost needed to get back to work. That’s one of the surefire ways to keep productivity intact.


2. Enhanced Creativity

The office chair will never be anyone’s happy place. Staying seated for several hours can leach away a person’s optimism and creativity. By having a space for recreation, employees can take a break and have a wonderful chat with other workers. They can move around freely without feeling restricted. This freedom helps nurture creativity, imagination, and innovation.


3. Professional Relationships

Employees spending time with one another is beneficial. It allows everyone to have discussions that are not work-related. This is where the bond is created, which builds professional relationships. Another benefit is that it can be a great ice-breaker, especially between bosses and subordinates. It helps everyone become more approachable, further enriching the connection.

Workmates playing during work break.


4. Teamwork and Cooperation

No matter who’s in charge of sales, management, or other roles, recreational spaces allow connection and interaction. The greater the teamwork, the better the results. Whilst playing in the game room, the employees can talk about their life experiences and even other trivial things. This interaction alone builds chemistry, which fosters cooperation and fuels cumulative productivity.


5. Fun at Work

Keeping staff members on their toes is important, but it can be detrimental if you don’t observe a balanced process. After all, most people see work as obligatory, stressful, and tiring. That’s why employers need to find ways to make work more fun. One effective method is to enable time for recreation and relaxing activities.

Even a typical card game can elevate a person’s spirit, which is useful before returning to work. With a refreshed mind, an employee can work on the assigned task with renewed vigour and a novel life force. If the benefits above are not enough, consider this: recreational spaces can help with employee retention. It is also directly linked to lower absenteeism, most likely due to the lower burnout probability. That’s a significant advantage because a happy employee is not just productive but also satisfied with the job.


Tips for Designing a Break Room

The best recreation rooms are those where employees want to spend their free time. After all, what good is the break room if people avoid it and would rather go somewhere else? Unfortunately, designing such a space is easier said than done. The goal is to make it relaxing, fun, and engaging so employees emerge recharged and reinvigorated.

So, how can you make the space appealing and entertaining? Here are our tips:


1. Add a Pool Table

The concept of installing a pool table in the workplace is quite popular. And if you haven’t done so, you’re missing out on the many benefits it can provide. But is a pool table worth the investment? It surely isn’t cheap, and you’re probably wondering how such a distraction can improve productivity.

Pool tables are guaranteed to be a hit, giving employees something enjoyable to do during their breaks. That’s not all; a pool table is stylish and lifts the look of any room. So, invite your clients, who will certainly be impressed when they see a Quedos pool table in the entertainment area.

And here’s one more piece of good news. Purchasing a pool table to keep employees engaged, healthy, and happy may be tax deductible. Additionally, the Government announced that the Instant Asset Write Off for businesses is extended for another year. If you’re eligible, you can claim an immediate deduction for the cost of an asset (in this case, a pool table) you first use or install from 6 October 2020 to 30 June 2023. Eligibility requirements can be found on the ATO website.


2. Limited Space is Not a Problem

The size of the room can affect the gameplay experience of your staff. Playing pool in a cramped space is not enjoyable, so you must first select the right pool table size for the game room. But here’s a trick, even if you have a small space. You can use a 2-in-1 table or topper for portability. You can use any table and invite some team members to play table tennis, card games, or billiards. It’s an affordable and temporary solution, ideal for small business owners.


3. Add Other Games

There is an endless list of games that can help ease your employees’ boredom. Introduce other table games, such as ping pong or table tennis and foosball. Some may also be interested in old-school arcade games, including pinball, Pac-Man, and Space Invaders.

A standard office game room setup is relatively straightforward. Connect a gaming console to a large TV and allow your staff to play their favourite games. You can also have word games, puzzles, or even a giant Jenga.

Make sure to offer various choices, especially multiplayer games, which not only keep the players entertained but also encourage teamwork.

Office mates playing foosball.


4. Consider Your Employees’ Interests

If you’re stuck on what to add to the break room, you should consult your staff. The last thing you want is to have games or recreational activities that no one is interested in. Allow them to pitch their suggestions and consider them as you build and design their entertainment space.


5. Offer Free Stuff

Free snacks are a great perk with the bonus of helping employees stay productive. You can have a snack bar with healthy food items, such as fruits, veggies, nuts, protein bars, and jerky, to give them their much-needed pick-me-up. Other recommendations include the following:

  • Coffee or tea stations
  • Custom mugs
  • Cookies, croissants, and other pastries
  • Large mason jars for storing sugar, coffee, cinnamon, etc.

Some free stuff, such as the custom mugs, can be given to new employees as their welcome gift.


6. Make Sure to Have Comfortable Tables and Chairs

Many employees like to sit down to relax, whilst others would rather rest their heads. Whatever their preferences may be, it always helps when there is enough seating for everyone. If your staff members take their breaks at the same time, there should be adequate room for them. Some suggestions are:

  • Couches, sleep pods, and hammocks for employees who may want to rest
  • Chairs, picnic tables and benches for eating
  • Yoga mats, stationary bikes, and exercise balls for those who want to stay on their feet

Consider dividing the recreation space into different areas. That’s because some people need quiet time to relax and catch their breath. Others want to spend their breaks enjoying their meals, whilst some may want to play pool or do some workout routines.


7. Pick the Right Colours and Patterns

Recreation rooms help eliminate or at least lessen your employees’ stress when they take a break from work. With a well-designed interior, you can achieve that purpose. The colour scheme of the employee break room can inspire creativity. Some people believe yellow is a good choice for this. Meanwhile, a space designed with red bricks gives a relaxing feeling. You can also turn to a less complex design and a neutral shade to achieve the same goal.

The recreation room is an opportunity for your employees to have fun together. Playing pool and other games or even discussing non-work topics can help them unwind. When it is time to get back to work, they will feel they can carry out their responsibilities without any hurdles.

Colleagues playing pool in the office.