30 Oct Northwest Arkansas Employees and the New Break Room
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Northwest Arkansas businesses has been immense. Employees are contending with change even more frequently than before. And while the challenges are difficult for everyone, employers can examine one aspect or location as employees return to the workplace—the state of the break room.
Independent of the break room’s current arrangement—a micro-market, vending machines, or outdated—employers should time the time now to proactively reassess employee safety and happiness, especially when it comes to the break room.
Questions to consider that are related to overall safety might include the following:
Can all surfaces be wiped down or cleaned with an appropriate cleaner?
Unless one actively thinks about it, most individuals don’t realize how many surfaces they touch during the day. In a break room, general surfaces to touch might include tabletops, chairs, microwaves, and paper and plastic supplies. Micro-markets offer other surfaces to be aware of, including cooler doors, handles, and shelving; the kiosks; and the displays, fixtures, and racks. Vending machines have their outer surfaces, product buttons, and payment area. Coffee station surfaces include brewing equipment and supplies such as sugar, creamer, and stirrers.
What is the traffic flow through your break room?
With the current floorplan, can employees move through each step of choosing and purchasing their snacks and beverages without being surrounded by others? Reconsidering the layout and traffic flow patterns can help stop larger groups from assembling in small spaces.
Is hand sanitizer readily available?
While washing one’s hands before and after touching a surface is ideal, it isn’t always feasible. Providing hand sanitizer in multiple locations for both employees and guests is a great alternative. With enough practice, regular hand sanitation use will become a habit that occurs naturally.
Are there signs that remind employees about the CDC guidelines, such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distance?
Whether it’s reminders on the walls, the equipment, or the floor, signage is essential. It helps everyone remember to do the things that slow the spread of COVID-19.
Are fresh food and snack options individually prepackaged?
Product packaging is another protective barrier that can slow the spread of viruses and bacteria. Employees can better trace a snack or meal’s origin when the product comes in a container that was sealed by the commissary or manufacturer.
Actively asking these questions and going through the process of answering them is also vital for employers as concerns about COVID-19 outbreaks at places of employment and employer liability are becoming an issue.
Do your Northwest Arkansas employees see their break room as an employee benefit? If not, while changes are being made to increase safety levels, it’s is an excellent time to learn why. Break rooms have the potential to show employees appreciation for all the work they do. Customizing the menu, giving away micro-market or vending machine gift cards, covering part or all the costs for the refreshments offered, and upgrading all or part of the break room environment are just a few examples. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to choosing creative ways to show appreciation.
Are you ready to take the next step to update your break room to be a COVID-safer space that is still an integral part of your company? If so, we can help. Not only do we offer a variety of customizable services to meet your needs, but we also follow safety protocols while operating our business. For more information, please contact Northwest Arkansas Vending at 479-271-8288.