The Best (& Worst) Things to Show on Break Room TVs

The break room of an office is where employees go to relax, talk to co-workers, and regenerate their energy for the work that still needs to get done that day.

But there are better break room environments than others, and just as a coffee shop aims to create an atmosphere and a vibe that is appropriate for that environment, so too should a business aim to create an environment in the break room that will best fit the needs of the employees while simultaneously fitting the needs of the business.

In fact, the break room often does not get nearly as much attention as it deserves, because the atmosphere of the breakroom can truly improve the employee experience both while in the break room and when they go back to work.

A large factor that contributes to the atmosphere of the break room is the content that is shown on the televisions set up in the break room. The content shown on these televisions has implications for employee entertainment, morale, camaraderie among employees, productivity, stress management, and employee understanding of their role in the business.

As we will show in this article, there are some things that are absolutely great to show on break room TVs, while there is also content that should certainly be avoided. Below is a comprehensive guide on the best and the worst things to show on break room tvs.

The Best Things to Show on Break Room TVs

1. Company Information

The break room is the perfect place to keep employees updated on the current affairs of the business. This could include directives from above that apply to all employees, but it can also be general information about the current state of the business, all of which improves communication between management and employees.

It is important to keep employees aware of the current state of the business, as well as the goals that management has for the business. This helps the employees understand their role in the business and feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

Knowing what is going on with the company allows them to understand how their (often specialized) tasks play a role in the big picture of the company. This will give more meaning to the work that they are doing and boost morale.

Break room televisions are the perfect place to put the type of information that will aid in these positive effects. If an employee is working on a specialized task, it might not make sense to have a meeting updating them on all the goings-on of the business. That could waste valuable time. But, when they are in the break room, they can keep abreast of some of the parts of the business that are not directly relevant to their immediate tasks.

For that reason, displaying company information, from general directives, to broad company goals, to infographics on the current state of business can be highly beneficial for employees and businesses alike.

2. Daily Inspirational Messages

Its no secret that work can be exhausting, and many employees will occasionally feel their morale waning, especially during that mid-day lunch break when nothing sounds better than taking a nap, and going back to work sounds less than savory.

This is why it can be great to display daily inspirational messages on break room TVs. Not everyone feels re-motivated by inspirational words, but there are a lot of people for whom reading just the right words can make the difference between a productive and an unproductive day.

Within the digital signage playlist that you have running on your break room, a daily inspirational quote, or multiple inspirational quotes, interspersed with the other content can be just what your employees need. Some may even start to look forward to what wise words they will read in the break room the upcoming day. Instead of dreading the mid-day crash, they might start looking forward to the mid-day dose of inspiration.

While displaying inspirational quotes might seem like a minor thing, it can have highly beneficial effects on overall employee morale.

3. Extreme Sports

Of course, in addition to company information and inspirational messages, it is important not to forget that some employees simply want a break and to be entertained for a few minutes before going back to work.

This is where extreme sports come in. Extreme sports do not require team allegiances or sitting down for a whole game for it to be entertaining. Its people doing amazing things in short periods of time, and that is precisely the type of entertainment that is perfect for the few minutes that one spends in a break room.

Unlike football or basketball, an employee won’t, upon leaving the break room, feel the urge to go back into the break room time and again to see how the game has progressed. Loop TV offers a wide array of extreme sports content that are perfect for short break room entertainment.

4. Music Videos

Much like extreme sports, music videos are a great no-strings-attached form of entertainment that is perfect for the break room. No, you don’t need to have music blasting in the break room (unless it's an office party, of course). Music videos, even silent, are highly visually stimulating and can be incredibly entertaining without the accompanying music.

In fact, music videos might be the perfect form of entertainment for the break room since employees will never feel like they need to spend more than their allotted time just to see the next music video. Music videos are a nice respite to the office, and offer enough interesting visual material for employees to talk about and form bonds.

5. Productivity and Time Management Tips

Employees can always benefit from tips for managing their time in the most effective way possible, as well as tips for how to be productive. For some, inspirational messages won’t be enough. They might feel perfectly inspired to do a good job but are simply having trouble channeling this inspiration into concrete productivity.

In fact, it is precisely this type of employee that you may find in the break room more often than the other employees. That's why showing time management and productivity tips on break room televisions can be highly beneficial for employees who are having difficulty with time management and productivity.

They might see a great tip, and the best thing is that a few minutes later they will be back at work and they can try the tip out. Trial and error over time will eventually lead to a much more efficient employee and, likely, a much more fulfilled and confident employee.

6. Stress Management Tips

Work can be highly stressful, and that's why encouraging your employees to develop effective stress management practices is highly beneficial to both employees and the business. Stress management tips could be something as simple as instruction on breathing methods that are scientifically shown to reduce stress. It could also branch into the lifestyle domain, encouraging healthy practices both at work and in the work environment.

7. Business News

Depending on the type of business you run and the type of industry your business is in, there may be channels that offer news that is highly relevant to your business. This kind of news is great to show in the break room because it plays a highly valuable informative role for employees.

It’s great to have employees that are knowledgeable about what is going on in the industry that your business belongs to. If there is not news on cable that is highly relevant, it is quite possible to look for alternative sources of news that are reputable for specialized areas of business, and this kind of programming would surely be beneficial to have in the break room.

The Worst Things to Show on Break Room TVs

1. Movies

One of the worst things to show on break room TVs are movies. In fact, movies are bad content to show in break rooms on a number of levels.

For one, movies would be highly distracting for workers and completely take them out of work mode. The break room is certainly a place for rest and regrouping energy, but it should not be a place that takes people completely out of the work environment.

That being said, movies are a bad idea for the break room because they most likely won’t provide entertainment for workers. Movies usually require that someone watches them from the beginning for them to be entertaining, and it’s likely that people entering the break room won’t be seeing the movie from the beginning. If they do see it from the beginning and it is highly entertaining, they will be reluctant to leave and go back to work.

2. Political News

One of the worst things that you can show on break room TVs is highly politicized content, especially because so many people disagree over what is political and what is simply news.

As a role of thumb, it is good to avoid showing political talk shows on break room TVs. Not all news is bad for the break room, but political news has the potential to upset people and generate hostility between employees who disagree with each other over political matters.

3. Sports Games

Just like movies, sports games are entertaining in a way that can get people totally out of work mode. Moreover, if a team who an employee likes is playing, they will want to stay in the break room instead of going back to work. For other employees, sports games may be a matter of complete indifference, and this is no better because employees may feel that it is unfair that the space they are trying to take a break in is tailored to content that doesn’t interest them one bit.

4. Religious Content

As with political content, it is a good idea to avoid religious content. The modern workplace is supposed to be inclusive, and there are many people who may feel that they are being overlooked or may be offended if messages from a certain religion are playing on the break room TV.

5. Explicit Content

This may seem obvious, but it is certainly worth mentioning that all content that would be considered explicit should never find its way onto break room TVs. As we saw with the types of content that should be shown on break room TVs, break room TV content should be entertaining but informative. Explicate content certainly does not meet this requirement and runs the risk of offending people or making people uncomfortable.

6. Uncomfortable or Triggering Content

This point goes hand in hand with the point that came before it. Of course, content that may trigger or make an employee uncomfortable does not necessarily need to be explicit. Any content that touches upon issues that may make people uncomfortable should be avoided.

The office should be a safe space for people of all backgrounds and experiences, and the break room especially is a place for rest and recuperation. Nothing goes worse than coffee and a packed lunch than triggering content.

Providing the Best Content for Break Room TVs

This article has set out to explain what would be good content to show on break room TVs and what should be avoided. The main takeaways should be that content which should be shown on break room TVs is beneficial to the employee and their work productivity and morale.

What should be avoided is content that completely takes people out of the work mode or which offends, breeds hostility among coworkers, or makes employees uncomfortable. If you follow these general guidelines, you should be fine, and the rest can be left up to your discretion.

Using a free service like Loop TV can be a great way to get good content up on your break room screens. Loop TV offers over 200 channels of curated content, including music videos by genre or theme, as well as relaxing drone footage, funny fails and other short-form content. With their digital signage software and digital signage media player, you can also create playlists of inspirational messages and much else. Loop TV makes it easy to cater to the needs of employees and businesses, all for free.