August 2021

Month Archives
Workplace

Why your employees need a breakout space

What is an office breakout space?

The modern day workplace is built for agility and efficiency, encouraging the use of various ‘work zones’ that are easy to transition between. This is where the increasingly popular office breakout space makes an appearance. These are casual, comfier work spaces that can be used by staff to escape from the aches and pains of their desk every now and then. Providing a degree of flexibility to the working environment, office breakout areas carry several physical and mental health benefits, which could be just what you need for an added productivity boost. 

If you’re planning an office fit out, read on to find out about the benefits of office breakout areas, and why you need them in your workspace. 

Collaboration station 

Teamwork makes the dream work, and there really is something addictive about a good collaborative idea coming together. Office booths create the perfect opportunity to pull out a good old pen and paper and get stuck into a brainstorming session. By providing a private space for group work, healthy noise levels will be maintained to avoid any eureka moments distracting the rest of the office. 

Home comforts

Findings have shown that happy workers are more productive than those who feel uncomfortable in their working environment, so breakout areas are a great way to bring home comforts into the office. You could take things a step further and kit out private working zones with cosy cushions, throws or beanbags to add further homey touches. Employees are more likely to open up and share innovative ideas when they feel comfortable, so acknowledging staff wellbeing and creating a relaxed environment is guaranteed to better your business. 

Keeping active

Sitting in your office chair all day is actually more dangerous than you may think, dubbed by BetterHealth as “the new smoking”. But, you don’t actually need to hire an office gym coach each week to get your employees’ hearts pumping; instead, encourage them to move between ‘work zones’ as often as possible. Just be sure to ensure that the journey between zones is as swift as possible, to avoid tripping over feet or chair legs in the process. Even though some may only be travelling for a matter of seconds, it’s a much healthier way to break up the working day, without being constantly confined to an office chair. Staying fit with a desk job is easier than you may think, just be sure to encourage plenty of movement wherever possible. 

A change of scenery 

Taking breaks during the long working day is actually a major productivity booster, as supported by research findings. When writer’s block starts to get in the way of creating quality content, the effects of boredom will start to creep in. By stepping away from your desk for a few minutes and heading into a booth for some private work, it allows your brain to reset itself and destress. An inactive mind is less likely to retain information too, so it’s not just your body that will benefit from moving between workspaces. 

Concentration booster

Although we all love a healthy dose of the office buzz, some employees may start to get overwhelmed by the volume levels creeping higher, which could decrease overall productivity. Sound-proofed booths are ideal for these scenarios, allowing staff to take a private breather when needed to regain focus. Some people may struggle to zone out from distractions, so providing them with the quiet space they need to think clearly is sure to improve mental wellbeing. 

If you would like to incorporate an office breakout space into your office and need some installation advice, our fit out experts would love to have a chat. Get in contact today to begin enhancing your workplace! 

Green office

The biophilic office: What it is and how to do it

What is meant by ‘biophilic design’?

Have you ever wondered why people are so fond of decorating their houses with various plants and succulents? Or why, for many people, their garden is their pride and joy? There’s a reason why humans crave the outdoors, and the answer is “biophilia” –  the term used to describe an instinctive urge to be closer to other living things. In a world that’s fallen victim to urbanisation, people often feel disconnected from the natural world, especially when heading into a cold, impersonal office with no windows and artificial lighting.

Opting for a biophilic office design is a brilliant way to bring the outside in to fulfill these innate tendencies, and your staff will feel much better for it. 

What are the benefits?

Designing an office space in a way that embraces the great outdoors carries several benefits, with one particular study revealing that employees were 15% more productive than those who were in a workplace without any greenery. But that’s not all! Further research has shown that office plants are great stress-busters, relieving symptoms of anxiety whilst boosting cognitive performance. Happy workers are hard workers, so placing your staff’s best interests at heart really is key to a successful business. 

As well as improving your staff’s wellbeing, a biophilic office design also shows visitors that your business has a great company culture going on. This is their first impression of your brand and what you have to offer, and they too will feel a sense of calm radiating from the room upon entry. 

With a few simple steps, you too can design a workplace that’s centred around the wonders of nature, whether this be through exploring new office furniture options, by changing up your colour scheme or through increasing the natural light that enters through the windows. 

Natural lighting

It’s predicted that humans spend up to 90% of their life indoors, which naturally has a detrimental impact on both physical and mental health. There are numerous studies that highlight the importance of bringing light into your office space, with evidence demonstrating that darker offices can result in decreased productivity and more staff sickness days. 

To inject some energy into your working environment, increasing the number of windows or positioning desks next to them is the easiest solution. However, if your space is still feeling a little dim, opt for subtle, warm office lighting rather than fluorescent to avoid feeling like a rabbit in headlights.

Greenery 

Ascentis office redesign: Using hanging plant pots to bring greenery into the workplace 

Why does working outside in your garden feel so much more relaxing than being indoors? It’s because you’ve got your leafy green friends to keep you company, of course! When surrounding yourself with flowers and foliage is known to enhance creativity, basing your office design on a countryside getaway could be the way forward. 

Replace tacky desk ornaments with succulents, or you could use a crate planter for elevated potted plant storage. There are plenty of other ways to breathe life into your office; utilise the floor and reminisce back to your last peaceful picnic with astroturf or grass mats, or create the illusion of added space with hanging plant pots. Living walls are also becoming increasingly popular, and it’s a great way to bring much needed colour and vibrancy into your office. 

Take a look at an office fit out we did for Ascentis, who wanted to create a fun, lively space by incorporating features of biophilic design into their working environment.  

Choosing your office colour scheme

Earthy tones are perfect for an office design that’s inspired by natural landscapes, so why not give your walls a fresh lick of paint? This natural palette is thought to evoke feelings of tranquility and calm, and can create the illusion of being closer to the outside world. 

If you prefer minimalistic tones, try fresh shades of green in your workspace through cushions and throws that’ll really add to your office furniture. 

Office furniture 

Speaking of office furniture, biophilic interior design is all about embracing natural shapes and forms (think curved desks and dome chairs), using raw materials such as wood and stone where possible. You could also select fabrics that fit in with the natural colour scheme to add to the full effect. 

Creating a working environment that supports social integration is also a key element of biophilia, as humans have an innate instinct to survive in groups. Place team spirit at heart and be sure to include plenty of shared workspaces and collaborative zones. 

If you’ve been inspired by biophilic design and need help with choosing the office furniture to match, our team of experts are just a call away.