Long gone are the days of the traditional Australian corporate office, interconnected work stations, closed doors for the executives and uninspiring break-out spaces usually in the form of a small kitchen out the back with a lonely table. The evolution of the office space has not only seen a metamorphosis with work stations, but break-out spaces have also transformed into fluid and casual areas that encourage movement, communication, flexibility and stress relief.
Let’s get moving
For forward-thinking companies who understand that an office space needs to reflect the changing working styles of their staff, break-out areas have been given a new lease of life. Prolonged sitting has recently been likened to the ‘new smoking’ with several studies highlighting the harmful effects of sedentary behavior. The fact is, humans are not designed to be stationary for long periods of time, glued to our desks and computer screens. A casual break out area creates the perfect opportunity for movement in the office, allowing staff to have informal meetings or find a private place to focus on their work. Like a family home, rigidity is abandoned and replaced with a more relaxed, comfortable and positive ambiance with the freedom to move and reinvigorate the brain.
Break-out space design is more than putting in some unique furniture in an otherwise dead space. It is a multi-tasking area which can be used for informal meetings and collaborative work. The fluidity of the space opens a spectrum of possibilities for its use making it a key element of office designs. This flexibility means that a break-out space can be a quiet room for concentrated private work, a media centre, a place for impromptu get-togethers with staff and clients, a lunch room and everything else in between. With a casual break-out space, hierarchy within the organisation is less defined leading to an added sense of community.
How many of us are guilty of eating lunch at our desks? Or delaying that trip to the bathroom until ‘after the next phone call’, or ‘after the next email’? According to Beyond Blue, 3.8 million Australians do not take a lunch break, and this type of behavior can lead to social isolation and other health problems. Companies that provide casual break-out spaces encourage staff to take breaks to rejuvenate their energy levels, and ultimately improve productivity. It is a perfect space to relax and recharge the batteries.
Become a Leader
Does your company encourage movement and flexibility amongst your team? Bowen Interiors, leaders in workplace solutions, has the experience and resources to create a customised break-out space which will resonate with your team’s different needs and priorities. Bowen Interiors can help you improve the health and productivity of your team with a choice of furnishings suitable for break-out spaces, and creative ideas for how you can incorporate more break-out spaces in your workplace. View our recent projects HERE.