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breakout space

Our guide to creating the ultimate breakout area

Do you need to rethink staff relaxation? Why not create a breakout area?

Office requirements are changing. With many employees still engaging in agile working, you may find your office design or layout is becoming outdated.

With staff only in the office certain days to catch up with colleagues or for meetings, it may be worth creating areas for employees to gather and catch up informally, to retain a sense of teamwork and interaction.

An office that is designed with staff wellbeing in mind may help you attract new talent and retain existing employees. Being proud of the workplace and the recognition that breaktime is sacred may even help increase employee productivity!

What is a breakout area?

A breakout area is a designated space where staff can take time away from the computer screen and desk, or an area for visitors to wait prior or between meetings. It should be an area where everyone feels comfortable and able to relax. This may be a specific area that has been sectioned off within the open plan office, or be a separate lounge area that is part of your canteen or kitchen.

What will you use your breakout space for?

The breakout area can be a multipurpose area. It could be used for:

  • Informal chats
  • Tea breaks
  • Space to debrief between meetings
  • A space that is not permanently occupied
  • An informal brainstorming space
  • Or simply somewhere to switch off from work for a few moments.

If your breakout area will be housing visitors then you may want to create an area that reflects your company ethos.

Choose the right space

A breakout area is separate from the working area and a place to relax away from desks. If you don’t have space for a separate room, section off certain parts of the office with screens, dividers, plants or modular storage cabinets to create a breakout area.

Choose the right furniture

As the breakout area is one of comfort, your furniture should reflect that feeling. Add relaxing soft seating which also brings a touch of privacy such as the highbacked Celestra, or Alban range. Or choose soft modular seating such as Encore and Alto that is versatile allowing you to create shapes. The Jude also offers a comfortable individual chair that can be produced in contrasting or co-ordinating colours.

Add a range of tables such as coffee tables, canteen tables and bench seating, alongside comfortable chairs and modular seating. Some businesses also like to add beanbags or occasional stools.

You could even add a games area to encourage employees away from their desks. Games within breaktime will help keep everyone alert and help develop social skills amongst team members. The Ping table looks like an ordinary meeting table but can turn into a table tennis table in minutes. You could also add features such as a pool table, dart board or table football.

You could even create a Friday bar for staff to have a drink after work and relax and unwind with colleagues for some decompression.

Choose the right décor

If you want to create a fun space, try using bright or contrasting colours. You could add a breakout area with more of a quirky style such Google or Amazon headquarters. Being bold with colour will help create a sense of fun so try adding a feature wall with vibrant artwork or patterns. That said, your breakout area should reflect your brand identity and appeal to all staff so bear that in mind when planning the space.

Add acoustic solutions

You could also try different shaped sound absorbing wall tiles. These help minimise noise, reverberations and dampen echoes with acoustic solutions that can also be used as decorative art.

Add refreshments

Don’t forget to hydrate your employees! Many breakout areas have refreshments available such as a coffee machine, vending machines, café area or water dispenser.

Don’t forget the finishing touches

For extra comfort add a range of plants, colourful rugs, soft furnishings, pictures, framed prints and soft lighting. You could even add a fish tank!

Need help with design?

If you are inspired to re-vamp your existing workplace, at Sundry Supplies, we are on hand to help you design a new workspace to be proud of. Contact our furniture design and installation team to discuss your requirements.

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