The term “breakout area” doesn’t even begin to cover the ways in which modern workplaces make use of nontraditional spaces. Businesses all over the world are redesigning their workplaces to include areas where staff can not only take a break and unwind - though that is one significant function - but also set up and conduct impromptu meetings, break up the day with varied working positions and take much-needed respite from long days in front of screens.
Providing areas like this can be an invaluable investment, alleviating demand on busy meeting rooms, increasing collaboration, aiding creativity and helping to create a happy and loyal workforce. The options available to you run the gamut from full relaxation spaces kitted out with beanbags and games consoles to stylish and focused “third spaces” that are an ideal mixture of workspace and hideaway.
Give employees the chance to completely remove themselves from the bustle of the work day with a purpose-built full relaxation area. Soft furnishings can be a welcome break from desk-based work; a variety of seating positions and surfaces can help each individual to spend some time relaxing in whatever way suits them best. Other furnishings that represent a break from the standard office environment - carpeting, creatively-designed surfaces and sculptures - can also help to slow the pace and allow your workforce to recharge. Use the USM Haller system to provide tailored storage for books, magazines, games and even a TV. Open shelving can provide easy access to these materials; a soft white finish can create a calm atmosphere, or bright reds, yellows and greens can foster a feeling of fun. You can also get creative with small coffee tables or storage pieces that double up as quirky benches.
Whether it’s in your office kitchen, a separate dining hall or a corner of the main office, providing staff with a perfect place to restore while they eat lunch or grab a coffee can be invaluable. Keeping these areas fresh, clean and light can go a long way to encouraging a sense of calm, so situate these spaces in areas with a maximum of natural light and make use of a bright colour palette and fresh flowers. Provide ample space to allow it to do double duty: welcoming dining area and relaxing second work space. Use USM Haller tables to create long, stylistically clean dining benches, and kit out the area with bespoke food and drink preparation surfaces using the USM Haller system.