In the 1960’s, the workspace became distinctively political. With the rise of an open plan office promoting a non-hierarchical, egalitarian environment that encouraged all levels of staff to communicate more openly and collaborate.
The 1950’s German movement, “Bürolandschaft”, would eventually be replaced by a more conventional cubicle formatting that we’ve come to know when we think of “Office”. With open plan work environments reportedly leading a loss of focus and lowered productivity. Flash forward 60 years, as our work culture accelerates into its most diverse form, we are seeing offices utilise both open plan, and closed cubicle formats, as well as creating even more innovative environments. There is far less of a need to cordon off, or cubicle, but more of the need for variety, flexibility, and ergonomic working solutions. One of them has come to be known as the Breakout area.
We are spending more time than ever at work then we might have been 40 years ago, due to increased work demands, and multiple commitments. And this tends to be sat in front of a screen. With health and safety regulations advising to allow workers frequent rest breaks, it comes as practical/functional work solution to create a space to Breakout.
Breakout spaces are a much-needed component of the office/workspace. As an informal space, separate to the office, it enables colleagues to disengage, relax, host meetings, communicate and collaborate without needing to leave the office. It’s people-centered design focus, that strikes the balance between independently focused productivity and socialised collaboration. We like to think of Breakout’s as the new “Bürolandschaft”, and we here at Matrix really enjoy fitting them in.
Here’s our guide to building the perfect Breakout area, get in touch with us:
Think Socially democratic Multipurpose built: It is important that your Breakout area has a variety of uses and purposes. And it is very much up to the user on how they may wish to use it. From grabbing lunch, to refueling on caffeine. To hosting long overdue project catch ups, participatory, and collaborative meetings, to simply having some down time, or even catching up on all the zzzz’s you missed out on last night. Breakout’s areas are designed to provide options and be accommodating to all the different routines that we each have structuring our days.
Make yourself at home, with soft Furnishings: Variety is the spice of life. Make your breakout accommodating, by including a variety of seating options: From canteen chairs, group benches and leather sofa’s, all the way through to tub sofa’s, Footstools, Poufs and beanbags. Your breakout is a centralised location for internal socialisation, it requires both functionality and comfort. Also don’t forget decorative flourishes, which leads us on to…
Optimising on design, to foster a creative hub: Creative thinking doesn’t just come pouring out of the creative. It needs to be nurtured. Inspire the eyes, ears, and minds of your colleagues with colour, texture, and patterns. Plants are great for boosting oxygen levels and promoting well-being. Maybe have even an informed colour scheme. You can never go wrong with green.
Lights, camera, action: Don’t forget that ambiance. The Breakout area needs to cater for those who want to take a break from the office, but should still offer working conditions. Noise levels should be fairly low, group areas well lit. Why not scatter a few study lights, above solo seating areas, for those who are wanting to work in a different environment.
Have a look at some of our seating options: