As people return to the office or embrace hybrid work, creating a ‘home away from home’ within your office space is essential to employee well-being and satisfaction. Breakout areas, once a luxury, are now a necessity, influencing work culture and attracting talent. Beyond offering a comforting vibe reminiscent of home, these areas serve as hubs for collaboration, rejuvenation and a touch of inspiration.
But hold on, what exactly are breakout areas?
They are dedicated spaces outside the typical desk setup – mini sanctuaries for escaping routine. Whether it’s grabbing coffee, brainstorming, or unwinding with a book, breakout areas vary in design, from cozy nooks to dynamic multifunctional hubs.
Why the Breakout Area Buzz?
Breakout areas aren’t a recent concept; they emerged with the changing work landscape during the technology boom of the early 2000s. Initially driven by a desire for a vibrant, hip atmosphere in offices, they offered diverse spaces for staff that were flexible, collaborative and fostered well-being. Post-pandemic, they’ve become essential for instilling a homey feel, encouraging a smoother return to the office.
The benefits of breakout areas are diverse and contingent on their design. Choosing the right design and build partner who is keen to understand your team’s unique needs is crucial. Individual preferences vary, so involving your team in decision-making, from colours to finishes, ensures a tailored and effective office breakout area design.
Here are some of the benefits of breakout spaces in your office and tips from our design team on how to achieve them:
Boosting Creativity and Collaboration: Breakout areas spark impromptu brainstorming sessions, foster informal interactions and allow ideas to flow freely in a relaxed setting.
How: Infuse elements of your brand through design features like artwork, graphics, or even through subtle touches such as the colour of paint used. Additionally, opt for modular and multifunctional furniture for flexibility and agility for various purposes.
Revitalising Minds and Bodies: Breakout areas should be a place where employees feel like they can come to work as well as do leisurely activities such as grab a healthy snack, or simply soak up some natural light. These spaces promote physical and mental well-being, leading to happier and more productive employees.
How: Select and integrate high-quality, functional and comfortable furniture. Go for pieces with natural finishes like wood or bamboo to introduce a biophilic element, promoting overall well-being and ensuring the breakout area is situated in a space that has access to lots of natural light.
Attracting and Retaining Talent: In today’s competitive job market, companies need to stand out. A thoughtfully designed breakout area shows you care about your employees’ experience, making you a more appealing prospect.
How: Consider placing amenities like coffee stations, healthy snacks, or even games to enhance the overall breakout space experience.
At Soul Spaces, we understand the power of well-designed breakout areas. We create spaces that spark creativity, nurture collaboration and fuel well-being but we always deep dive into your brand and culture first to deliver designs unique to you.
Looking for inspiration? Check out these examples of breakout areas in our latest office design and build projects.
1. A Playful Green Escape for the Nium Team: We incorporated an open design breakout space featuring a table tennis table (they’ve also managed to fit their indoor putting green in this space!). Opting for a set of enclosed couches offers a sense of privacy for meetings or socialising, while ample shelving provides space for plants and art to enhance the ambiance.
2. Cosy Dens For a Homey Feel: In our design and build project with Attensi, we integrated several cosy breakout spaces throughout their workspace. Featuring premium plush chairs that give off a homely yet premium vibe, these areas seamlessly complement the rest of the office. They offer the team a comfortable retreat while preserving the company culture, ideal for relaxation or private discussions between teammates.
3. Game Zone: As leaders in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Faculty’s team shares a passion for technology and gaming. We tailored their breakout area to provide a space where they could channel their inner child, boasting a pool table, ping pong table and vintage arcade machine. Fostering laughter and friendly competition, these amenities promote team bonding and stress relief.
5. A Home Away From Home: In their new Oxford Circus office, Five by Five was after a breakout area for relaxation during breaks. We delivered a cosy living room lounge ambiance with vibrant, comfortable seating, a large TV and gaming console, cleverly enclosed by a large shelving unit filled with their awards and own artwork. This inviting space maximises the limited natural light, offering a refreshing contrast to their workstations.
In conclusion, breakout areas have evolved from being merely trendy to becoming indispensable components of modern office design. As workplaces adapt to new ways of working, these spaces offer more than just a change of scenery – they foster creativity, collaboration and employee well-being. By investing in well-designed breakout areas, businesses can attract and retain talent while creating environments that reflect their unique culture and values.
At Soul Spaces, we take pride in crafting breakout areas that not only meet functional needs but also align with our client’s brand identities and work cultures. Whether it’s creating a playful escape, a cosy den, or a versatile communal space, our designs are tailored to inspire, rejuvenate and elevate the overall work experience.
Looking for more inspiration for your next office project? Explore our case studies to see how we’ve transformed workspaces in our latest design and build projects.