The rise of breakout areas in businesses today has got many employers questioning whether they should jump on this ship.
In this article, we will highlight what breakout areas are, what known benefits have been seen with this office trend and how you can get started on fitting out one at your current office.
Photo Credits: Riccardo Bresciani
What is a breakout area?
A breakout area is a space within the office that is used by employees to take a break from work. At the beginning, it was only considered as a place to spend your break over lunch but recently, there is more thought into the place. Bespoke breakout areas offer informal working areas and facilitate casual meeting areas.
The average worker spends around 40 hours a week at work staring at screens for long uninterrupted hours. Having a breakout area provides a place for them to be away from the computer screens and also used for spur of the moment meet-ups with fellow employees or have informal meetings with clients.
Ideas for Breakout Areas
Breakout areas wildly differ from company to company, but the goal is the same: give employees options of places to take breaks and work away from normal workspace.
The overall design should increase productivity and happiness of employees.
Family room: This can be used to encourage employees to relax and casually interact. This design could be softened by leather sofas, throw pillows, carpets, rocking chairs and floor lamps to give the vibe of being a home.
Collaborative cubicles: To encourage brainstorming of ideas, private partitions can be fit out in areas within the office. They could be furnished with whiteboards and stand up tables.
Bring the outside in: An extension of what is outside in the city or offices is brought in the office. Hammocks at the office breakout area bring the beach experience to the office.
Play Time: Incorporating games at workplace can be used to reboot employees from long work hours at their desks. From foosball to yoga to board games, these activities will bring employees closer and they get back to work energized.
The breakout area can be used for informal meetings. A chance to brainstorm and discuss ideas in a distinctly different area from your workspace.
These informal meeting encourage bonding between employees from same and different departments who would ordinarily not meet. In these meet ups, employees get an insight on what others are working on and they get to see the bigger picture of the company and their role in it.
Recommendations for health at work are that employees take short breaks of 5-10 minutes every hour to rest their eyes and brains, so they can return to their desks refreshed and focused.
Employees are encouraged to move from workspaces to breakout areas. These movement helps in changing posture of the employees. Pains and aches suffered by those who sit for hours on end in one place can be reduced by moving around during the day.
Innovative Thinking and Freshening the Mind
During the breaks, employees get to have a nice break away from the stress and noise of the workplace. They have time to reflect on tasks and think clearly. Cross pollination of ideas happens in the interactions in impromptu conversations and discussions.
Want to create and amazing breakout area in your office?