M a r k e t N e w s

Designing breakout points in workplaces

Posted on : Thursday, 1st September 2016

 Cleverly decorated interiors and well-designed furniture in offices are increasingly becoming important to employees.

 
The furniture and accessories in an office send a powerful message about the image of the company. Attractive workspaces and lounge areas signal that a firm invests in its workers.
 
The traditional dull spaces painted in dark hues are being turned into livelier walls with bursts of colour. So is the furniture. New colourful office furniture and breakout areas is the trend now.
 
Colourful furniture
 
Previously, employers focused on the reception areas leaving the rest of the office lacking ambience. But companies are setting aside spaces as breakout points where employees can sit and relax or hold informal meetings or have a snack.
 
Daphnie Chepkirui, the lead designer at Design Corporate in Nairobi said designing a breakout area depends on the clients’ need as well as the amount of space.
 
“It can either be an open space adjacent to the office or an enclosed space which I strongly recommend as it enables one feel relaxed without being watched and can accommodate visitors and children,” she said.
 
The breakout area can also be within the office or at the veranda which makes it ideal for colourful outdoor furniture.
Colourful desks and chairs also bring to an office to life.
 
Raju Matharu, the technical manager at Victoria Office Furniture said the colourful furniture makes the employees feel relaxed and comfortable when having a break.
 
“We have an assortment of colourful breakout and lounge furniture of various colours and designs,” he said.
 
Various shops such as Furniture Elegance, Ramara, Antarc, and Newline Furniture also have a variety of colourful office furniture.
They are made of cotton fabrics and polyester and some come in plastic material which makes it easy to clean and maintain.
 
Although more expensive than the normal boardroom and office furniture, the breakout furniture is more stylish with sleek designs from puffy seats, sofas, and coloured boxes.
 
Relaxed environment
 
They are not the typical office chairs, but are leisure-like to give the feeling of a relaxed environment.
 
“The breakout area should be warm and colourful, the walls, furniture, floor treatment and the lighting should all be synchronised to make it a relaxed space,” said Ms Chepkirui.
 
Chain bean bags made out of vinyl in whichever colour combination and swing chairs can also be perfect for breakout areas.
 
A lounge area does not have to be an extravagant space in a big office. Even open plan offices can integrate comfortable and colourful chairs and benches in a corner.
 
Companies like Google Kenya are some of the companies that introduced the breakout areas in offices with a variety of games and entertainment for their employees.
 
Ms Chepkirui recommends play areas to be separate from the breakout areas.
 
It is becoming important for employees to take breaks away from their desks and employers to create spaces that attract and retain the best.
 
“The essence of a breakout area is for one to be relaxed with no noise and if possible have soft music play on the background,” she said.

Source : www.businessdailyafrica.com
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