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Essential technology for office breakroom supplies

breakroom supplies

The Almighty Keurig®

The coffee maker is the holy grail of breakroom supplies, and today, we are living in an age where it has never been easier to make and drink coffee at work. The Keurig is a coffee maker that brews single servings of coffee using individually-packaged portions of coffee called K-Cups. Gone are the days when everyone in the office had to share the same favorite brew. With a Keurig, there are dozens of different varieties of coffee, tea, and other beverages to choose from, too. When you can make coffee on demand, each cup tastes like the first from a fresh pot.

Vending Machines (That Accept Credit Cards!)

A midday snack is one of the simplest workplace joys. There's nothing like treating yourself to an Almond Joy after giving a great presentation to the team. Though it may not be cutting edge, the standard vending machine is still one of the greatest breakroom technologies to ever be invented. However, one of the most frustrating things about vending machines is that many often only accept small bills and/or change.

Fortunately, that is changing. Many vending machines are now accepting cash-free payments via bitcoin, credit or debit card, PayPal or even through social media! Some vending machine companies are now retrofitting older machines to accept these new forms of payment, staving off the issue of having to dig through desk drawers to scrounge up a couple of quarters to get a bag of chips.

There are no rules when it comes to stocking your machine. Classic snacks like candy and chips are always great, but consider adding healthy snacks like almonds, or useful items like a sewing kit or ibuprofen. A well-stocked vending machine – particularly one that accepts credit cards or mobile payments—will save you the trouble of running to the corner store when a snack emergency arises.

The Mini-Fridge

A full-sized fridge is the ultimate in lunch storage luxury, but the mini-fridge – in all its different shapes and sizes – still has a place in any office. Add a mini-fridge to your office breakroom supplies to help manage traffic flow in the kitchen area when the lunch hour strikes. Invest in a separate mini-fridge near the coffee station for storing milk and cream. These items are used frequently, and a mini-fridge by the coffee station will reduce crowding by the fridge, especially if you work in a large office. A mini-fridge is also a great way to encourage your team to stay hydrated. The team that drinks water together works better together, so put a mini-fridge stocked with bottled water or a Brita pitcher in your conference room.

Touchless Automatic Cutlery Dispensers

When it's cold and flu season, any way you can help cut back on the germs is always welcomed by your coworkers. One unique way to do so is to invest in touchless automatic cutlery dispensers for your breakroom.

Not only can these dispensers save on the transmission of germs, preventing sick coworkers from riffling through drawers of utensils that others may use, but these nifty gadgets also can save your company money by reducing waste on cutlery that's tossed without having been used. Saving money on utensils AND office productivity due to a lack of illness? Technology for the win!

High-Powered Microwaves

Long ago, the microwave was considered a mysterious and futuristic invention. Today, the microwave is just another part of the kitchen, but that doesn't mean it doesn't deserve to be celebrated as an important piece of breakroom tech. By this day and age, every office has a microwave, but have you ever considered upgrading your trusty food-warming box? A high-powered microwave can reduce cooking times and heat food more evenly. If your office breakroom has a traffic flow problem, a nicer microwave will get people in and out of the kitchen with greater ease. If you think your leftovers deserve the best, talk to your office manager about exploring the different options for microwaves.

Digital Entertainment

Yes, yes. We all know that surfing the web and watching cat videos on company time is typically frowned upon. But why not make the breakroom a place for coworkers to watch videos or play games together while on their lunch break? Installing a television set or media station in the breakroom can help create a bonding experience among coworkers.

Another fun option is to install an old arcade game – like PacMan – in your breakroom to encourage friendly competition and give your colleagues a fun way to stimulate their brains. Purchasing a used arcade game for your office may be cheaper than you think, too. Several arcades often like to get rid of their older or refurbished stock and do so at a deep discount. Even if your coworkers aren't big on button-mashing hijinks, an arcade game can make a great conversation-starter for colleagues and visitors to the office.

The breakroom is a vital part of good workplace habits. Upgrade your breakroom supplies today to make lunch hours and coffee breaks something your team looks forward to!

Quill.com Contributing Writer

Krista Wolfe is a marketing project manager for Quill.com where she writes to help small businesses, teachers and healthcare professionals make more informed decisions on office essentials. She also writes on our new community blog, Café Quill, about a wide range of business matters such as leadership, productivity and work-life balancing. Krista lives in Chicago and you can find her on Google+ or LinkedIN.

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