There’s never been a more important time to create some sort of break out space in your offices for your team.  However large or small that team may be, having been through such an unprecedented time of disconnected working, now’s the time to create an area aimed at engendering a real sense of belonging.  In any working environment, positive team spirit can increase productivity and reduce the number of sick days taken. 

A break out area is a separate space from your employees’ area of work.  Encouraging staff to step away from their workstations is not only important for their health and wellbeing but their creativity too.  Moving away from a computer screen and the same seating position is important.  Equally, encouraging stretching and walking around is crucial to any staff member’s physical and mental health.  However, by physically moving away from their workstation, your team is also more likely to think more clearly and take advantage of the collaboration made available by sharing a break out area with colleagues.

Unlike a specific canteen or dining area, a break out area can be used for both eating lunch and holding informal meetings with colleagues, suppliers or clients. A coffee away from your desk often reduces stress levels and allows for more clarity of thought.  As such, having a drinks station within a break out area is a great way to allow your team to take a tea or coffee break without even having to leave the building.  

Furnishing a break out area doesn’t have to break the bank.  The area itself does not need to be large, the emphasis needs to be on relaxation and informality.  Depending on the area allocated screens may be needed to reduce noise pollution from elsewhere in the office.  In addition to screens, smaller tables for drinks and laptops can work well while a larger table for an impromptu meeting is useful, if space allows.  Adding some more comfortable chairs will highlight the relaxed vibe and encourage team building and collaboration whilst offering a vital staff benefit.