Breakroom Meets Breakout Space
Keeping the Balance
In the last couple decades we’ve all heard a lot about work/life balance, that elusive ratio of career to a personal life that keeps employees happy, healthy and productive. Giving employees a space to get away from their desks, enjoy a social moment with colleagues, grab a snack or a cup of coffee and not think about a looming deadline gets them a little closer to that balance… without leaving the office.
What is a break out area?
A break out area describes any space open to employees or visitors that is separate from their usual working area. It can be a place for employees to relax, eat their lunch and even hold informal meetings. Giving employees a break from a computer screen also complies with health and safety laws which require staff to take frequent breaks from their work stations when computers are being used. Small to medium companies can sometimes see a break out area as an unnecessary luxury that the company cannot afford but employers should consider the benefits and how this will impact on the company’s performance before ruling out an office break out area.
What kind of furniture to choose?
Break out areas are mainly for providing somewhere employees can go to give them time away from their screen or the stress of every day working life. They can also be used for spur of the moment meet-ups with fellow employees or informal meetings with clients. Remember to provide different types of seating if the space is available. Chairs around a central table provides somewhere meetings can be held or lunch can be eaten whilst soft furnishings, such as tub chairs or sofas, can make employees feel relaxed and comfortable when having a break.
How to create an efficient break out area
An office break out area needn’t be extravagant or even take up much space. If a separate room isn’t available to the company, why not use a screening system to section off part of your open plan office and add some comfortable chairs and tables to allow employees a break away from their desk. A break out area can also double as an informal meeting area so it is important to consider noise pollution in busy or loud areas.
Give your employees or visitors somewhere to make their drinks so they can relax in the break out area. A designated space takes away the need for employees to leave the building several times a day for the well-known coffee-run and can improve staff moral by providing this facility benefit.