Office breakout areas are bursting onto the scene as modern, forward-thinking workplace environments take the corporate world by storm. Many large, well-known companies have used this office design principle to create fun and ergonomic spaces for their businesses, with Google leading the way with their famously playful and colourful workstations.
But it’s not just Google embracing this office interior format – other companies including Facebook, Amazon and Ancestry have also embraced breakout zones and are now reaping the rewards that come with it.
So, what exactly is a breakout area and why should you consider incorporating this into your workplace?
A breakout space is an area within the workplace open to all employees that is separate from their usual working area; it can be a place for employees to relax, eat their lunch or hold informal meetings in the form of:
- Collaboration spaces for adhoc team huddles
- Communal areas and mindful centers
- Quiet zones for lone working
- Meeting pods
- Hot desks
Gone are the days of traditional, rigid office environments – office breakout areas have endless uses and are adaptable to suit a variety of purposes for your business. They are multi-functional spaces that allow employees to concentrate in a quiet space with reduced distractions, but to also come together and feel inspired, producing innovative ideas.
Just as the list of uses is long, as is the list if benefits. Companies that have embraced this office design principle have reported the following pros:
- Improved employee wellbeing – getting out of that swivel chair and collaborating with colleagues within an interactive environment has a positive effect on staff both mentally and physically.
- Increased productivity and the promotion of new ideas – creating a space that your employees want to spend time in will inevitably present an increase in staff efficiency, bettering the business’ ways of working and ultimately increasing your return on investment (ROI).
- Clear thinking – being able to escape the distractions of the hustle and bustle of day-to-day office life (or having a space to collaborate with colleagues when there’s a bump in the road) will help staff members find the innovative solutions they’ve been looking for.
- Encouraged social interaction – bringing employees together for informal meetings, team huddles or social ‘mingles’ will only strengthen relationships.
- Reduced stress – creating a comfortable environment for your staff to work in, helping to mitigating stress, will pay dividends in terms of staff morale.
And if you’re still not convinced, it’s worth us noting that a dynamic and modern office space not only entices existing employees to remain a part of your workforce, but it attracts new talent too.
Looking for some inspiration? Great! That’s where we can help.
Quiet zones – the shift towards working together is not always viable. Some times we need to step aside and take some downtime. Isolate an area of the office with dividers for staff to use when they want to work quietly or incorporate isolated booths/pods and establish some ground rules for using the space considerately (ie not listening to music or congregating nearby).
Mindful centres – ensuring employees are taken care of is now seen as a vital element of every workplace and creating a ‘mindful centre’ is an added benefit to any office space. Allow for quite reflection or alone time, reducing stress among employees and giving them the time they need to re-group and re-charge to proceed with a positive, productive attitude.
Collaboration spaces – encouraging the production of new ideas by separating teams to brainstorm before re-grouping is collaboration done right. A space for sharing ideas, training or virtual conferences all aid innovation and productivity within teams, strengthening working relationships and breaking the traditional structure of isolated working. Incorporate whiteboards, access to technology and moveable seating for teams to engage… and a bean bag or two for a relaxed, informal approach.
Communal areas – it’s proven that employees with internal social relationships maintain improved working relationships; creating spaces for employees and external stakeholders to spend time in creates a sense of community and comradery that fosters respect and successful collaboration. So why not incorporate an open plan kitchen area with a high-flying coffee machine, or a staff room with a pool or table tennis table (who doesn’t love a game of ping pong?).
Hot desking – with the development of smart technology there is no need for large bulky equipment and set desks for every employee. Embrace flexible working and maximise your workplace potential, encourage collaboration across the board with reduced clutter and an increased ability to share office space.
To help your employees leverage their day, perhaps the above breakout ideas could be a great fit for your organisation? For more inspiration or ideas on how to make the most out of your office space, get in touch today on 01733 555360 or email us here.