Revived Breakroom Makes A Splash With Employees

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota, FL is the most recent winner of the Staples Ultimate Breakroom Makeover contest.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota, FL

After a month-long renovation, Staples revealed earlier this month the breakroom it has transformed for the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota, FL. Mote was chosen as the winner of Staples’ $50,000 “Ultimate Breakroom Makeover” contest because of its collaborative marine science mission and a creative submission from one of its shark scientists that illustrated a much-needed upgrade for the space.

As part of its 2017 Workplace Survey, Staples found that 80% of workers believe their employers have a responsibility to keep them mentally and physically well. Cultivating an inviting breakroom space that employees want to spend time in — like the new one at Mote — can help support this responsibility and contribute to overall office morale, engagement, and productivity.

“The transformation of the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s breakroom is much more than a simple refresh,” said Neil Ringel, president, North American Delivery, Staples. “We’ve been working closely with the Mote team to make sure their vision of a multiuse space comes to life and that the new workspace represents a place where employees can collaborate in a variety of ways.”

BEFORE: Breakroom at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium’s breakroom renovation is the result of working closely with Staples’ regional design team to convert the space into something that is fresh and modern, as well as functional. Updates include 10′ banquet tables from Allsteel, a 9′ work bar from Allsteel and HON, chairs from National Office Furniture, mailboxes from Safco, new flooring from STAINMASTER, freshly painted walls, modern kitchen cabinets, and more. Power strips and Wi-Fi also provide a solution for employees seeking a change from their regular workspace or a place to collaborate.

In addition, $10,000 worth of vendor-sponsored products including Keurig, Green Mountain, KIND, Smucker’s, Hershey, Nestle Coffee-mate, Dixie, Clorox, P&G, and Colgate were donated to Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium as part of the transformation.

AFTER: Breakroom at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

“Dozens of marine scientists, Aquarium biologists and educators here at Mote will now be able to leverage the renovated breakroom to rejuvenate or ideate with colleagues,” said Mote President & CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby. “We love the blue accent wall, aqua chairs, new appliances and décor coordinated and designed by Staples that evokes our marine science mission. Our staff are dedicated to the ocean’s well-being, and this renovated gathering space is a wonderful reward for their hard work.”

Marie T. Dasborough, Professor of Management at the University of Miami, studies positive work climates and positive work relationships. Her recent research published in the Academy of Management Review examines relationships between leaders and employees, arguing stronger working relationships are the result of shared positive emotions.

“Common spaces where employees can come together to work and collaborate have positive long- and short-term outcomes for companies, especially at nonprofits like the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium,” said Dasborough. “Redoing a space like this can evoke positive emotional responses, such as gratitude and pride as well as create a space where employees can connect with each other, improving overall satisfaction, engagement and productivity.”

View of video of this breakroom makeover story.