Office breakout areas are all the rage at the moment, driven by the more relaxed approach to office interior design taken by big web businesses such as Google.
But what does the term mean, and is it defined by physical features like your choice of office breakout area furniture or less tangible aspects like how the space is used?
In this article we’ll look at the defining characteristics of an office breakout area and the kinds of office furniture you’ll usually find in one.
The general definition of a breakout area, breakout room or breakout space is a versatile zone that is available for employees to use as and when they want to step away from their own desk.
There is usually not a specific designated use for breakout areas. They may be used to relax, for informal meetings, or to work away from the desk for a while.
The area may be clearly defined by walls, temporary partitions or high-backed breakout area furniture. Alternatively, it may be more open plan and loosely defined.
Breakout areas done right can bring plenty of benefits to a business. Not only do they create extra workspace, relaxation areas and somewhere to casually collaborate, they also provide an interesting setting to meet with visiting clients, stakeholders and other guests.
You can read more about the positive impact of breakout spaces in our article 7 Benefits of Office Breakout Areas.
However, not all office breakout area furniture is the same, so it’s useful to know what’s available and give some thought to what you want from your breakout room, booths or pods.
The modular nature of modern breakout area office furniture means that when you want a change of scenery in your office, you can reconfigure the space to suit your evolving needs.
Stools, tub chairs and two-person meeting pods are at the more compact end of the scale and can be fitted into tighter spaces – with the help of a pull-up laptop table where required.
Larger zones can be furnished using modular seating systems which incorporate elements like corner units, end units, middle seats with no arms, and curved 30/60 degree linking seats.
Modular office furniture is ideal when you want to change the layout of your seating, and this is especially true in breakout zones, where it can help to keep things feeling fresh when it comes to giving your employees somewhere to escape from their desk.
While breakout zones are usually very versatile, some furniture is designed with a specific task in mind.
For example, a freestanding laptop table can be pulled up to almost any seat to provide a temporary desk, or even a side table for snacks and drinks.
Alternatively, an office phone booth provides a comfortable but confidential space to have a phone call, as well as block out unwanted noise and visual distractions from the rest of the office.
Self-contained acoustic breakout pods can also reduce distracting noise from elsewhere in the workplace, while keeping conversations private for participants.
Acoustic pods come in a range of styles, including high-backed bench seating which can feature an open top or be fully enclosed with a roof for even greater privacy. These are ideal for relaxing, holding informal meetings, or even as a more casual working space when paired with a table.
Lismark offer a wide range of breakout area furniture, available in a choice of styles and upholstery to match your branding, company livery or interior design colour scheme.
Get in touch today to request a brochure or speak to our experts about creating your own breakout area.