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In 2011, the University of Illinois conducted a study that proved taking regular breaks from a task can dramatically improve an employee’s ability to focus. The then ground-breaking study is still widely referenced today and highlights the importance of stepping away from your screen during prolonged tasks.

With this study in mind, we’ve created a list of office breakout room ideas to help you to create an enticing space. From practical office furniture solutions to modern design themes, you will find plenty of inspiration on this list. Read on for our top 20.

Go Open Plan

Going open plan means that the breakout area is always in sight. Therefore, this serves as a reminder to employees that they should take regular intervals.

While you won’t be using walls in an open plan setting, a good idea is to create a breakout “zone” through the creative use of carpet tiles. As in the picture above, you can cut in a section that outlines the breakout perimeter. This will also help you to save money on construction costs.

Want to see more of this project? Take a look at the Riverbridge House office fit out here.  

Install a Tea Point

If you work in an office, you will know that taking a short break often involves making a tea or coffee. Therefore, it makes sense to offer employees an area where they can make a quick cuppa.

Not only will this encourage employees to take five, it will create a space where they can chat with other employees. This will encourage staff from different departments to engage with each other, helping to create a team culture within your company.

Be Bold with Colour

Ideally, you want your breakout area to be as fun and inviting as possible to encourage employees to use it. Therefore, it pays to introduce a vibrant and eye-catching colour scheme.

In order to do use, use all elements within the breakout space, such as carpet, furniture and walls to create an impactful colour scheme. If you are lucky enough to have funky brand colours, consider using this for the office breakout space design scheme as well.

Offer Catering

Naturally, this one is likely to appeal to those with a bigger office fit out budget. If you are lucky enough to have the space and budget to introduce catering, you can really get creative with your space.

Take the example in the image above: they went with a rustic theme with a bronze-top servery, Wagamama-style dining benches, wooden beams and pendant lights. This not only looks incredible but works perfectly in countryside location.

Want to see more of this project? See the Blends for Friends fit out here.

Create a Games Area

Another great way to encourage employees to leave their desks is to introduce a games area. These days, popular choices for games include snooker tables, table tennis tables, dart boards and even retro arcade machines.

Not only do gaming areas encourage employees to leave their desks, they can also instil a fun company culture. This is particularly good if you have a young team and will also help to attract talented new employees.

Want to see more of this project? Take a look at the Hudl London fit out here.

Create a Workspace/Breakout Area Hybrid

There is no reason why your breakout space can’t double up as an additional workspace, and the good news is there are plenty of ways to achieve this. For example, you could add furniture with power ports, laptop side tables, and a desk for dining and ad-hoc meetings.

With the rise of “activity based working”, where employees are offered a choice different workspaces, we often see a crossover between breakout area/workspace design. This is exemplified in the image above, which strikes the perfect balance between a relaxed, comfortable breakout space and work zone.

Build a Friday Bar!

When Friday arrives, what better way to ring in the weekend than with a drink? Not only will this boost staff morale, it will make your space look edgy, contemporary and cool.

A bar will also provide a good talking space for new clients and contacts, as it will create a relaxed atmosphere. This will help everyone to make the best decision for their business.

Introduce a Feature Wall

Feature walls are an inexpensive way to add some vibrancy to your office breakout area design. Furthermore, your wall can encapsulate a certain theme relating to your field of work. Take the feature wall in the example above. The company produces contact lenses and therefore introduced a colourful design which symbolises clear vision. See more of the project here. 

Think About Durability

If your breakout space is going to be used regularly, then it is essential the elements within it are durable. For example, the company in the image above chose to use hard-wearing, laminate-top benches with steel frames for its busy dining area. With a large number of employees passing through the space throughout the day, this furniture was an intelligent choice.

Want to see more of this project? See the CooperVision case study here.

Introduce Pods

Breakout pods can really make a difference to your office space, both in terms of aesthetic interest and practicality. From a design perspective, you can find pods in an array of quirky and unique styles that will bring a novelty factor to your breakout space. Pods are also useful for meetings, dining and individual working, meaning they have a multi-purpose appeal.

To see more breakout room ideas with pods, take a look at the design show blogs in our news section here.

Create a Lounge Area 

Lounge areas are particularly good for companies that embrace flexible working. If you are unfamiliar with the concept, it essentially means employees have flexible working hours and can work in a way that suits them.

As some employees come into the office at weekends, offering comfortable lounge style breakout areas will allow them to kick back with a laptop and complete the task at hand. The residential theme is open to interpretation, but often consists of sofas, coffee tables, beer fridges and rugs.

Bring in Natural Elements

Introducing natural (or “biophilic”) elements allows employees to re-connect with nature, and this is said to have a number of positive effects. These benefits include increased happiness, improved concentration and lower blood pressure.

There are a number of ways you can achieve a biophilic breakout area design, including hanging plant pots and features, workstations draped in foliage and “living” moss walls. If your budget doesn’t stretch this far, adding in a few plants will still help to create a welcoming and relaxing environment.

Provide Recharge Rooms

For a modern addition to your breakout space, consider installing a recharge rooms. The idea is to allow employees to unwind and get away from the stresses of the job in order to “re-set” the brain.

These come in the form of electronic-free zones, meditation/yoga rooms, game rooms, nap rooms, or spa and massage rooms. For our money, a yoga room will be a great addition as low intensity exercise is said to increase productivity.

Buy Wipeable Furniture

For hygiene and practicality, it makes sense to introduce furniture that is wipeable. This will enable you to easily remove any stains or crumbs created by people dining in the space. These can be solid-top tables, leather sofas or chairs with wipeable insides like in the picture above.

Implement Company Branding

Introducing company signage will help you to create a brand experience in your breakout room. This will strengthen your company identity and make a good impression on staff and visitors. For an inexpensive and effective office breakout room idea, consider printing your company logo along with positive slogans that reflect your ethos.

Build a Breakfast Bar

Not only does a breakfast bar offer another option for dining space, it can also double up as a laptop station. This is ideal if you have a co-working space or adopt activity based working where people aren’t assigned a workstation.

Furthermore, the breakfast bar stalls can really add an injection of colour to your breakout area, as in the example above. For added comfort, introduce padded stalls that give extra back and posterior support.

Go for a Modern-Industrial Design

If your office has a modern-industrial design theme, then it makes sense to have a breakout area to match. Consider benches with a distressed finish, brick-effect walls (you can use brick-slips or wallpaper for this), dome pendant lights and exposed elements.

Ultimately, the modern-industrial look has endless possibilities. Therefore, it’s important to get in touch with experienced designers that specialise in office refurbishments.

Read also: 7 Office Design Trends for 2019

Think Outside the Box

The great thing about coming up with office breakout room ideas is that you can have a lot of fun. We recommend sitting down and brainstorming some ideas, as this can result in you coming up with something unique.

Alternatively, consider attending of the many interior design shows in London for inspiration. Clerkenwell Design Week and 100% Design are among our favourites, as these always offer plenty of surprises. Take these stunning tipis and statement chairs, which will make a fantastic addition to a modern office space.

Tip: make sure you follow Clerkenwell Design Week and the 100% Design Show on social media to keep tabs on the latest design developments. 

Install Booths

Booths are a great way to modernise a breakout area, and they’re very practical too. For example, they can be used for dining, meetings, and individual and group working. Like the aforementioned breakout area/workspace hybrid, this versatility is great for companies looking to employ activity based working, where employees can choose a work zone best suited to the task at hand.

Make Use of Glass Partitions

If an exposed breakout area isn’t for you, a great alternative is to encase the space with glass partitions. Here are some of the advantages:

  • More depth – While a stud wall will make your space look smaller, a glass partition adds depth to your space. If you are working within a small area, this can be very beneficial.
  • Greater exposure to sunlight – A glass partition will also increase exposure to sunlight. According to a study, this improves employees’ workplace performance.
  • More privacy – If you are also using your breakout space as a meeting room, encasing it in glass will mean you can safely have private conversations. If sensitive information is likely to be shared, it is better that the conversation is not conducted out in the open workspace, meaning a glass wall will be an advantage.

Want to see more of this project? See a great use of glass partitions in our Questor case study here.

Thank You for Reading Our Office Breakout Room Ideas Blog

So there you have it: 20 great ideas for your office breakout area design. We hope this list has given you plenty of inspiration and sparked some bright ideas for your space.

Remember, a good breakout space design can be a great way to boost staff morale and productivity, so it shouldn’t be overlooked. Our advice is to take time and care in creating your design, and you will undoubtedly reap the rewards.