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The power of BREAKSPACE

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From the ancient Greek fable of the ant and the grasshopper to social media posts bragging about how hard you hustle, hard work is a point of pride that reaches across cultures and generations. And these days, we’re working harder than ever. Technology has made it easy to work anywhere, 24/7, while the pressure to succeed means taking on extra projects, putting in overtime, and staying chained to the desk.

But working harder isn’t always smarter. Employees who don’t take breaks are often more stressed, less healthy and less satisfied at work. By encouraging workers to take breaks and lunch away from their desk, they will be more positive, creative, motivated and productive.

But encouraging breaks is just the beginning. It’s also necessary to provide an appropriate space where employees can escape work for a few minutes without leaving the office. That’s where we come in.

At Staples, we have a saying: better space leads to better work. This is especially true in the one space where work doesn’t take place: the BREAKSPACE. 

The benefits of BREAKSPACE


Think about a workout at the gym: nobody lifts weights for an hour nonstop. Instead, a weightlifter will do a set of repetitions, take a short rest period, and then do another set. The break lets muscles recharge to lift more weight, helping the lifter get stronger.

Our minds work the same way: working for a long stretch of time leads to burnout, not productivity. The time spent taking a break is more than paid back in the increased focus, creativity, and productivity of the work done after the break. A great BREAKSPACE gives employees a place where they can go to pause, collect their thoughts, rest their eyes from staring at a screen and refocus for the rest of the day.

Ditch the desk

two men playing ping-pong inside room

A dedicated BREAKSPACE is as important as the main conference room, office lobby or CEO’s office. By providing a thoughtful, well-stocked space, it sends the message that breaks are something the company supports, which can help improve employee morale, productivity and retention.

While a break can take place at the desk, it’s far too easy to turn that cup of coffee, tea or juice into a “working break.” It never takes long for an email to come in or for the phone to ring, short-circuiting the benefits of the break (while letting the coffee get cold in the process!).

Instead, it’s essential employees take both a mental and physical break from the workstation. For some, a brisk walk is perfect for clearing the mind. After all, it only takes a few minutes away from the computer to reap the full benefits of a break.

By having a great BREAKSPACE close at hand, it reduces the time employees might spend on their break compared to going offsite while providing all the same benefits of a break. In addition, a dedicated BREAKSPACE subtly encourages breaktime activities to take place in specific locations instead of at the desk, reducing the possibility of distracting others while they're in the zone.

The elements of a BREAKSPACE

five person laughing each other in living room

Every company will have different requirements for their BREAKSPACE. While some companies stock their BREAKSPACE with entertainment like ping pong tables, TVs and toys, the common BREAKSPACE should have at least the following elements:

  • Beverages: A great BREAKSPACE provides employees with a variety of drinks to stay refreshed, including coffee, tea, bottled water, sodas and fruit juices.
  • Food: Whether it’s a vending machine, a snack cupboard, or a fully-stocked pantry, the BREAKSPACE should give employees a place to go when they’re feeling a bit peckish.
  • Gathering space: To encourage employees to spend a few minutes away from their desk, the BREAKSPACE should have chairs, tables or even sofas so they can relax and be comfortable.

Staples provides everything your BREAKSPACE needs to help employees recharge and get back to doing what they do best. Check out our food and breakroom solutions  and find out more about how BREAKSPACE benefits business.

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