If the concept of an office lounge area makes you shudder, thinking of all the work that could be piling up as employees socialize, relax! According to Gensler Research Institute’s U.S. Workplace Survey 2019, people who work away from their desks are actually higher performing. Lounge areas in the modern office are more about giving your employees the variety and choice in which to do their best work than any real lounging. It’s easier than you think to make it work with these office lounge area ideas.
The school of thought for years was that employees needed a quiet, distraction free, and most often, separate workspace to work effectively. While it’s true that too much distraction and lack of privacy can be a barrier, employees work most effectively in a number of ways depending on their role, their individual preferences, and even their industry. In fact, that same Gensler study found that the best workplaces “provide a balanced environment that supports both collaboration and focus effectively.” What’s more, team building and collaboration are some of the highest ranked aspects in the office, ahead of individual values. In short, the 9 to 5 desk scenario can be stifling to performance. Enter the alternative: lounge area options.
1. More the merrier
It’s not necessarily about creating one dedicated room, although you certainly can. Some of the most creative ideas come from spontaneous conversations that happen when you least expect it. Make sure you’re ready with small, informal lounge areas that have comfy seating and tables in unused corners, by the stairs, or even the coffee bar.
2. Keep it connected
If employees are going to be able to work anywhere in the office, the tech has to be there to make it easy with access to power sources, smart boards, video conferencing tools, whatever helps your employees to collaborate effectively.
3. Keep it comfy
The idea is to have lounge areas that feel different from the cube or desk. Make spaces comfortable with task lighting, footrests, adjustable tables, perhaps room dividers, partitions, or noise cancelling headphones. That way, head-down work can still be done.
4. Master the art of multipurpose
If space is an issue, have your break room or office entrance do double-duty with large bench tables where multiple people can gather and work with seating that doubles as storage or try reconfigurable tables and chairs that can fit the task at hand.
5. Let there be chill
All work and no play is no good for anyone. Mental breaks can not only relieve eye strain and tension but also boost creativity and focus. Not to mention the boost to morale. So toss in some comfy pillows, bean bag chairs, video games, or stress relievers – massage chairs anyone? Some companies even take it further with ping-pong tables, foosball or dart boards.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that you are facilitating a work environment that supports how your employees work best and how your business functions best. Incorporating lounge areas in your space can provide the balance to do just that.
Come lounge with us and see these ideas in person! Book a tour of our showroom for a complimentary design consult.