Collaboration. Engagement. Well-being. When it comes to effective break out area design, your emphasis should be on creating a space that helps your employees be creative and productive in an area that both rejuvenates and motivates. Whether you aim to create an area for relaxation or to stimulate more cooperative ways of working, good break out area design will create a space that’s perfect for ideas generation.
Focus on colour and texture
We are all uniquely sensitive to our surroundings, but there are certain colours and textures that instantly create a sense of well-being and relaxation. According to research undertaken at the University of Texas into the impact of colour in an office environment, blue improves focus on the task in hand, while yellow stimulates creativity and decision making. Green is an increasingly popular choice for break out areas as it’s rejuvenating, relaxing and peaceful. Try pairing a green-focused colour scheme with a feature wall clad in natural textures of cork bark for a scheme that minimises stress by bringing the outdoors indoors.
Focus on flooring
To create a distinct separation between the office proper and your break out area, consider a change of flooring. Easy to install performance vinyl tiles are extremely hard wearing and available in a range of authentic natural finishes that combine texture and aesthetic appeal. Keep it calming and natural or create a quirky and contemporary effect with on-trend herringbone for a hard wearing floor that helps to create the right break out ambience.
Focus on furniture
Your break out area needs to differentiate itself from the work station while still offering a space that’s practical for eating, working and holding informal meetings. That might mean you invest in cafe style tables and chairs to create a relaxed atmosphere, or install sofas to create areas that invite lounging. Seating pods are increasingly popular and can be as simple or creative as you like, resembling sheds or even cable car gondolas in the Google Zurich office. Ultimately, how you furnish your break out area should be directly responsive to the needs of your workforce.
Focus on light
The more natural light you can use to flood your office areas, the better. Proven to increase productivity and creativity, natural light in the office is hugely beneficial.But that doesn’t mean that you can’t be playful with your choice of task and mood lighting for a breakout area. Pendant and globes lights can be used to suffuse electric light to blend with natural daylight for a soft effect that doesn’t put a strain on eyesight.
Focus on functionality
Finally, a well-designed break out area needs to be functional and yet as free from distractions as possible. Keep the kitchen area separate – though think about providing a good bean to mug coffee machine for quick breaks – and keep extraneous noise to a minimum. This is an area to get away from the buzz of the office into a more reflective and rejuvenating space.
Focus on inspiration
Take your inspiration from leaders in office design like Amazon and Google. They understand how to create areas that effortlessly combine comfort and practicality with innovative design, so your employees return to their workstations feeling refreshed and energised, with a new sense of purpose.