Break Room of the Future: Returning to Work after COVID-19

Many things about the post-COVID workplace are going to take some considerable getting-used-to. Routine temp checks, muffled face-mask conversations, and socially distant lunch breaks change the office dynamic in dramatic ways. Gone are the days of collaborating in cozy huddle rooms.

Temperature Check


Despite the enforced separation, the yearn for interaction, connection, and community lingers. Historically, we get our fill of those basic needs is the break room, the best place to refuel, collaborate, and connect. These necessities remain in today, in the “new normal.” Consumer research shows us that Americans are most excited to reconnect with their friends, family, and colleagues when eating away from home. But, how can this kind of interaction continue in a break room post-COVID-19?

Things will look different, and they have to. However, the changes you’ll see in your break room don’t have to be uncomfortable. In fact, Canteen’s break room of the future was long underway before the outbreak and isn’t all that unfamiliar.

Canteen’s break room of the future beyond COVID-19 is contactless, connected, and convenient. Here’s a glimpse at how those three characteristics will help you snack safely:

contactless break room will ensure the safety of your associates.  

Stringent cleaning and disinfecting standards will, of course, be paramount in reducing the spread of this virus and future viruses, as well as quelling consumer fears. But, much like we’re adapting to new norms of the novel coronavirus, so will the workplace and the break room.

You’ll see machines in your break room outfitted with touchless innovations such as foot-pedal coolers, J-hooks that enable you to open doors with your forearm, and anti-microbial film on kiosk screens that works to kill contaminants on the surface. And in a pantry or office coffee environment, you’ll see gravity-fed dispensers and phone-controlled coffee equipment.

You can also expect to find signage in your break room that promotes social distancing and encourages consumers to shop with their eyes and “take what you touch.” These unofficial courtesies, paired with the contactless solutions mentioned above, will give people the confidence to enjoy each other’s company in their break room’s comfort once again.

Connected break rooms will offer worry-free convenience to consumers and clients. 

Connect and Pay App

The wheels were already in motion for a completely connected break room before COVID-19, but what was once a nice-to-have, will now be a necessity. A technology-enabled, connected break room will give consumers the power to have contactless experiences from perusing to purchase. Canteen’s suite of touchless checkout options makes that possible.

Using the Canteen Connect & Pay app, consumers can scan a product on their mobile device, and then use their unique QR code to complete their contactless checkout at the kiosk. And if the Avenue C has our beacon technology, guests can scan a product and complete the purchase all within the app. The Connect & Pay app can be used across our avenue C, vending, and cafe locations.

Convenient access to fresh grab-and-go meals will eliminate the need to leave the office for lunch.

Quick trips for lunch down the street won’t be so easy, or for some, worth the hassle thanks to precautions like social distancing and temperature checks on your return. Healthy grab and go options will give consumers the quality of restaurant take-out with the convenience of on-premise dining. And for the days when you can’t kick the craving for your favorite local spot, you can have your order dropped in a designated zone within our Avenue C micro-market, making it safer for you and the delivery person.

Planning for the future in uncertain times is tough. However, we are confident that when you make it through the temperature checks and follow the directional signage to the break room, you’ll be entering a safe space to connect, collaborate, and refuel. Canteen is committed to helping you snack safely.

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