A breakout area is simply a room or open plan space in your office that allows employees to move away from their desks to think, work quietly, workshop, hold informal meetings or even just eat lunch or drink coffee. Clever businesses ensure that these spaces are designed to be truly flexible so that they can be used by as many people as possible throughout the working day.
For example, a breakout area could encourage your employees to move away from their desks at lunchtime, even though you don’t have a canteen. A properly furnished breakout space could work as a lunchroom or an events space. Outside scheduled break times it could function as a thinking space, somewhere to make a phone call or do research, a meeting space or a training room.
Even the closest knit teams will appreciate having the option to move between spaces for short periods of time. This can actually help with team building as people never feel like they’re constantly ‘on top’ of each other – even when city centre office space is tight.
A breakout area can benefit from extra use of colour and design touches, which may not be appropriate or practical within the main office space. Whether surrounded by brights or pastels, moving between differentiated areas can help people to take a mental journey away from the everyday grind and feel refreshed, without even leaving the building.
The best teams are made up of a variety of personality types and one size of office design rarely fits all. A breakout area allows people who work better in silence to remove themselves from noisy areas when they want to focus, or perhaps your visiting sales rep can take advantage of a high backed sofa in a breakout room to make a long phone call without disturbing other workers at a shared desk.
Office breakout rooms are informal spaces where managers and staff can have one-on-one conversations in a more relaxed setting. This can be a huge benefit for staff who find formal meeting rooms and executive offices intimidating and some really productive conversations can occur as a result.
If you furnish your breakout area intelligently, with commercial grade, hardwearing and design-led modular seating, you’ll benefit from a space that looks great (even if used as a lunch room) and allows the flexibility of a multi-purpose space with furniture you can rearrange at will.
Sofas and chairs can be grouped as required for everyday use, lined up for presentations or training and even moved against the wall. This flexibility allows you to make cost savings elsewhere in the building, for example, you could have hot desks for employees who aren’t in the office every day as group activities and chats can still take place in the breakout area. Staff who aren’t based in the office 5 days a week have sufficient space to use when they are in without leaving precious desk space empty for a large proportion of the week, while permanent staff have the luxury of a little extra room.
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