Categories
breakroom design Collaborative Workspace Space Planning

3 Tips for Choosing Breakroom Furniture

 

A company’s breakroom plays an important part in employee wellness, offering a space not just for workers to grab a bite to eat, but a place for them to relax, connect with colleagues and ultimately recharge so that they can face new challenges throughout the day. Studies show that even small breaks interrupt the monotony of daily work-life, improving employees’ overall job satisfaction and increasing their productivity. Thus, one of the best ways for companies to show they value and respect their employees is to provide them with a comfortable, functional breakroom that allows them to periodically unwind and then regroup for the tasks ahead. Here are three tips for choosing breakroom furniture that employees will use and appreciate:

Prioritize Functionality 

Think about what your employees want out of a space and try to incorporate the type of breakroom furniture and other design elements and that will facilitate those objectives. For instance, coffee is an important part of Swedish culture, with Swedish workers taking 15 minutes in the morning, as well as the afternoon, to enjoy a cup with their colleagues. A breakroom in Sweden, then, will necessarily need to accommodate the presence of multiple people, multiple times as day. Coffeemakers, tables and chairs will need to be provided for employees using them en masse, rather than individually. Smaller companies, however, might well get by with only a single table and chairs set. Whatever the case, it’s vital to include breakroom furniture that is durable, comfortable and suitable for the activities for which the room will be used.

Consider Versatility

Remember, too, that there will be people of all types using the breakroom. While you don’t need to — and can’t — cater to everyone, you can provide breakroom furniture that is flexible in its use and purpose. Instead of fixed tables or built-in seating, think about providing compact, moveable pieces that can be rearranged as needed. After all, not everyone will want to sit at a communal table. Some might prefer a quiet seat in a corner where they can escape small talk and lounge in peace. A combination of single and multi-seat options, both plush and structured, will allow all employees to find a seat that suits their bodies, as well as their personalities.

 

Remember Aesthetics

Of course, no one wants to escape to a dingy, ugly room. Just because breakroom furniture needs to be functional and versatile, it doesn’t mean it can’t also be pretty! Attractive, well-made breakroom furniture will draw people into the space, encouraging them to use it and, thus, encouraging overall improved employee productivity.

Want to Learn More?

To learn more about office design and choosing breakroom furniture that boosts morale and expresses dedication to your employees while showcasing your company’s own unique style, please contact our design team at Key Interiors. We work with our clients to create a design plan that matches their needs with their resources, enabling them to provide a better working environment for everyone involved. 

Click Here to check out some of our most recent office renovation and design projects!

References:

https://smallbiztrends.com/2021/04/breakroom-furniture.html

https://www.carrollseating.com/casework-millwork/choosing-break-room-furniture-your-staff-will-love/

https://www.residencestyle.com/tips-to-choose-furniture-for-an-office-break-room/

https://www.quill.com/content/index/resource-center/office-furniture-tips-ideas/buying-guides/how-to-choose-the-right-seating-for-your-break-room/

https://www.thegenaugroup.com/selecting-office-furniture-tips/

https://officefurnitureonline.com/break-room-and-kitchen-furniture/

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20190312-the-tiny-breaks-that-ease-your-body-and-reboot-your-brain

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20160112-in-sweden-you-have-to-stop-work-to-chat

https://www.inc.com/young-entrepreneur-council/5-reasons-your-office-design-really-does-matter.html

Categories
Office Design Office Furnishing workstation design

3 Things You Should Know about Custom Millwork for Your Office

Whether we like it or not, appearances matter. First impressions go a long way, and for companies, especially, if you’re not making a good one, you’re losing the interest of potential customers, clients and employees and costing yourself valuable business. One of the easiest ways to positively influence an initial meeting with prospective clients or employees is to create a comfortable, beautiful office. Research shows that the first seven seconds of an encounter influences a person’s eventual perception of it. Apparently, the brain makes snap judgements before a person even becomes aware of his or her thoughts. Thus, consider this: it’s highly likely that any time you meet someone in your office, it will take them at least seven seconds to cross your office threshold, providing ample time for you to influence their impression of your company before they even catch sight of you, your product(s) or your brand. The color of your walls, your decor, your furniture — your office — is frequently the first thing people notice. Make it as unique and special as possible — with custom millwork, for example — and you’re on your way to a great first impression!

Custom Millwork Sets Your Office Apart from the Competition

Custom millwork includes any type of building product that is produced in a mill. Items such as doors, molding, trim and paneling, as well as specially-designed shelving, cabinets and storage units are all examples of millwork, bespoke items that add to the functionality and/or the beauty of an individual space. Choosing to add custom millwork options to your office design immediately signals that you are different from everyone else.

Custom Millwork Maximizes Your Office Layout

Tailor-made details enable you to utilize every square inch of a space, increasing the functionality of your office’s layout and design. Furthermore, custom millwork can be used to custom fit everything from desks and chairs to windows, doors and cabinetry so that the end product(s) match your exact needs, as well as your own personal aesthetics.

Custom Millwork Adds Value

Store-bought furniture and generic design elements can’t match the quality and craftsmanship of custom millwork. Adding made-to-order milled pieces to your office increases the value of your space since they will last longer and work better than those that are mass-produced. In addition, custom millwork impresses people, often adding intangible value to your overall brand, as well!

Want to Learn More?

For more information about using custom millwork in your office, please contact our team of designers at Key Interiors. As a full-service design, construction, and furnishing firm, Key Interiors can provide custom millwork, cabinetry, and finishes to fir your next project! 

Custom millwork can be added to a new construction design, but it can also be used to enhance a space, negating the need for a full-scale remodel. The possibilities are endless, and a great first impression can be just around the corner! Take a look at our Project Portfolio to get some ideas and see our latest work. 

You might also wish to download our free eBook, “Modern Office Design,” for additional office design tips, as well.

Categories
ceiling design industrial office design layout Office Design office design practices office layout Office Renovation Space Planning work environment

3 HVAC Tips for Climate Controlling Your Office

 

The quality of the air inside commercial buildings, schools and other places of business directly impacts the comfort and health of the people who visit and work within them. That’s why an HVAC system is such an important part of an office’s design. HVAC systems don’t just regulate temperature, they also work to control humidity and remove contaminants, thereby contributing to the overall quality of the air that millions of workers (and patrons) are exposed to everyday. While the government doesn’t actually mandate any specific HVAC tips detailing a range for temperature or humidity control, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) recommends keeping office temperatures between 68°-76° F and humidity in the range of 20%-60%.

In addition, OHSA suggests a variety of other measures to help companies recognize and control safe levels of indoor air contaminants, as well as maximize their ventilation systems. Especially during this current time of COVID, temperate, clean air not only safeguards workers against discomfort, headaches, allergies and other troublesome issues, helping them improve their energy levels and productivity, the right HVAC system can also minimize exposure to dangerous pathogens, preventing disease. Therefore, one of the best ways to stay ahead of problems with indoor air quality is designing an office space that amplifies an HVAC system’s functionality and efficiency from the onset of a building’s occupancy. Here are three HVAC tips for better climate control:

Maximize Ventilation

One of the most important factors affecting climate control, particularly within a large space (such as an office building), is ventilation. Proper ventilation allows outside air to move inside, diluting the concentration of pollutants that might be trapped within a space and circulating air so that the indoor temperature is neither too warm nor too cool. Depending on the specific needs of a building and available resources during construction/remodeling, ventilation can be facilitated via mechanical (supply and exhaust fans), natural (windows, doors and other openings) or mixed-mode processes. Choosing the right ventilation system for the space at hand encourages the movement of clean air into a space, making it easier for building managers to keep the ambient temperature within an office regulated and less polluted with contaminants.

Consider An Energy-Efficient Office Design

The function of any HVAC system can be improved with thoughtful design choices. When laying out an office’s floor plan, think about how you can mitigate the load of its HVAC system. Adding options like automatic light sensors; lower ceilings; extra natural ventilation openings (and adequate treatments to cover them when necessary); landscaping and architectural features that naturally render shade and/or reflect sunlight both inside and around the building can all work to ensure your HVAC is not overworked and, thus, unable to maintain proper functioning.

Maintain Filters and Keep Areas Clean

Another good HVAC tip is to always keep a routine HVAC maintenance schedule that includes the periodic replacement of its air filters. Exchanging old filters for new ones ensures that your HVAC system is never compromised or overloaded and, as a result, remains fully capable of cooling, heating and cleaning the air as needed. 

The Key Interior Advantage

A good office design maximizes an HVAC’s ability to function effectively and efficiently. Even small changes — such as rearranging furniture, adding window blinds or changing the color of paint — can significantly ease the burden on your HVAC system, allowing it to work at full capacity. 

At Key Interiors, our in-house, certified design team can help you redesign your office to get the most out of your HVAC system, and our skilled trade partners can handle any necessary mechanical upgrades.

To learn more HVAC tips for optimal control of the climate in your own office space, please contact our team of experts at Key Interiors.

You might also wish to take a look at our Project Portfolio to get some ideas and see our latest design work. 

Categories
breakroom design waiting room design

Waiting Room, Washroom and Breakroom Design in a Post-Covid World

 

Many offices and organizations are in a state of transition now. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and things “return to normal,” many business leaders have to navigate the complex process of welcoming back employees, guests, visitors, and clients to their workspaces. As such, quality design choices in public spaces like waiting rooms, washroom facilities, and breakrooms can have a big impact on the nature of a workspace now and well into the future. Here, we’ll discuss some important design considerations for public areas at private offices in a post-Covid world:

Prioritize Cleanliness & Hygiene

Keeping an office clean and encouraging personal hygiene are smart public health practices at all times. This means that business leaders may consider leaving in place certain COVID-19 protocols forever. Having hand sanitizer available, scheduling regular cleaning sessions, removing clutter on a regular basis, and wiping down commonly-touched surfaces are all worthwhile practices that can help cut down on the spread of many illnesses. Additionally, keeping public areas clean and fresh is imperative for any business that welcomes guests or visitors. People will judge your waiting room or your bathroom just as much as they will judge your personal office.

Physical Distancing

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic many businesses either significantly reduced or eliminated public spaces in their offices. Now though, as businesses re-open to the public, the question of personal space has become very prescient. One of the lingering effects of COVID-19 might be an added emphasis on physical distancing in public areas. Where tables, chairs, and gathering places were once placed close together, businesses may now be well-advised to keep them spaced out. Many individuals may be hesitant to share close quarters with others for a long time to come. What’s more, increased privacy in washrooms, breakrooms, and even waiting areas may improve office functionality. People value their own personal space, after all.

Virtual Possibilities

A large number of organizations introduced new virtual measures over the past year or so. While many were short-term policies, some organizations may continue to offer remote employment options and remote services to clients. This means that virtual meetings may still play a vital role in how an office functions moving forward. Crucially, having the capacity to connect with coworkers/clients can help businesses retain flexibility –– which leads us to our final point . . .

Versatility

If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t predict the future. Businesses have to change and adapt all the time, which is why versatility is so important to overall office design. Purchasing multi-purpose furniture, for instance, can help your organization change your office layout on an as-needed basis. Plus, work areas that serve more than one purpose will allow your company to most effectively use the space available in your office. Some businesses may even invest in products like modular walls, which can be deployed to significantly alter the layout of an office on a temporary basis. Given the current state of general uncertainty around so many issues, business leaders may benefit from opting for flexible office design concepts that allow them to adapt to new developments quickly and effectively.

Contact Us

Key Interiors is dedicated to helping our clients find office design solutions that fit their needs, budget, and timeframe. We have years of experience in this field, and we’ll work with your team through the entire design and build-out process. Contact us here to learn more or to schedule a consultation with us today.

Categories
breakroom design Office Design

12 Considerations for Office Breakrooms

 

considerations for office breakrooms

Frequent readers of our blog will note that we’ve talked a lot about breakrooms recently. However, that’s simply because the breakroom is an integral aspect of quality office design. Breakrooms provide people with much-needed space to unwind, snack, chat with coworkers, and refocus during the work day. As such, today we’re going to take another look at this important office area. Here are 12 considerations for office breakrooms that business leaders should keep in mind at all times: 

Coffee Areas

If there’s one thing that employees across all industries value in their breakroom, it’s a quality coffee station. Make sure that your team has everything they need for a good cup of joe in the morning!

Clean Up

Cleanliness is key to a positive work environment. So it’s important for business leaders to prioritize tidiness in their breakroom. Encourage your staff to clean up after themselves and hire a cleaning crew to service your office if need be. Also, installing a sanitizing station in your breakroom might also be a good idea –– for both the short and long term. 

Capacity

Successful companies sometimes undergo rapid growth. Take time to ensure your breakroom is big enough to accommodate everyone on staff. (This concern is worth highlighting particularly while COVID restrictions still apply.)

Refrigeration Needs

Plain and simple, every good breakroom should have a fridge for employees to store lunch items and leftovers. Even a mini-fridge can make a world of difference for a small business. If you choose to provide a refrigerator of some sort, consider power needs and possible water lines if your appliance has a dispenser.

Mood

The design and decor of your breakroom can have a big influence on how your team members feel about it. Remember, the best breakrooms allow people to relax and decompress when they feel stressed. 

Millwork

There’s no substitute for quality craftsmanship when it comes to woodwork such as tabletops or counters in breakrooms. 

Waste Control

Want to guarantee your breakroom stays neat and tidy at all times? Then invest in waste control measures. This can include purchasing extra receptacles for your breakrooms or merely creating a policy of taking out the trash on a regular basis. 

Warming Stations/Microwaves

Having a stovetop, oven, and/or microwave will be hugely beneficial for employees who prefer to make their own meals while at work. Heating up some leftovers can lift an employee’s spirits when they need it most. 

Budget

Creating a breakroom that everyone in your office loves is a tall task. Managing to do that on a tight budget is even more difficult. Thankfully, a little creativity can go a long way toward resolving this issue. 

Seating/Eating Areas

As we touched on before, setting out your breakroom seating arrangement can be especially challenging now because of COVID restrictions. Nevertheless, breakrooms should have plenty of spaces for your team to eat alone or safely with their coworkers.  

Easy-Clean Flooring

Breakrooms can get messy. Do yourself a favor and invest in a floor surface that is easy to clean. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did. 

Custom Appliances

No two offices are the same! Be willing to purchase custom appliances if your team requests them. Investing in a dishwasher, an oven, a blender, a TV, a video game console, or any other sort of device for your breakroom could serve to seriously boost morale around the office. At the end of the day, it’s your breakroom, and you can do whatever you want with it. 

Contact Us

No matter the size of your breakroom, your budget, or your renovation goals, our team at Key Interiors can help you enhance all areas of your office space in a meaningful way. Contact us here to learn more or to get started with us today.

Categories
breakroom design covid compliant design

Rethinking Breakroom Design: 5 Ideas for a Post-COVID World

 

breakroom design in COVID world

Breakrooms play an important role in overall office design. Breakrooms allow employees the space they need to relax, unwind, and gather themselves throughout the day. Since more and more professionals are spending long hours in the office, having a quality breakroom is increasingly vital for growing companies. Of course, breakrooms are also places associated with lots of close, person-to-person interactions. And because of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to quickly rethink their breakroom practices. (Unfortunately, COVID spread within offices has been linked to breakrooms.) Even as we enter a new (and hopefully final) phase of the pandemic, business leaders must make both short and long-term plans for their office spaces and specifically their breakroom design. Thankfully, we’re here to provide 5 quality breakroom design ideas for a post-COVID world:

Private Breakrooms

Obvious? Perhaps. Smart? We certainly think so! For the foreseeable future, many professionals will be hesitant to spend time in direct contact with other people in their work environment. This behavior may even last for years before we collectively experience a “return to normal” after COVID-19. Given that fact, it’s not a bad idea for business leaders to experiment with private break areas in their office. Alternatively, if you don’t have the extra space required to ensure everyone has an area to blow off steam, you could consider staggering employee breaks to ensure everyone has a chance to collect their thoughts alone at least once or twice during the day. 

Socially-Distanced Layout

Even under the best of circumstances, cramped and confined breakrooms are unlikely to help employees think and unwind. As such, making greater use of the space available to your business can be a fantastic way to create a safe, socially-distanced breakroom layout. Plus, spacing chairs and sofas at least six feet apart in your breakroom should allow team members to enjoy their breaks with minimal distraction from others. 

New Diversions

In the past, people may have congregated in breakrooms to converse with coworkers, check their personal email, or just kick back for a bit. Now though, individuals who used to visit the breakroom with others may find it difficult to take meaningful breaks throughout the day. To prevent employees from getting burned out at work, business leaders may consider adding certain amenities to their breakrooms to make them more palatable for the time being. For instance, installing a video game console in your breakroom could help some employees relieve stress and connect with friends online for a few minutes. Or adding a TV to your breakroom could let stressed employees chill out with one of their favorite shows. Personal interactions may be impossible to replace entirely, but adding new amenities to a breakroom can nevertheless enhance its appeal.

Virtual Lunches

For many, the breakroom also serves as a de facto cafeteria. Many employees enjoy the breakroom because it lets them snack with their coworkers and catch up with them at the same time. Considering that in-person lunches may still not be possible for office workers for some time yet –– and that many professionals have recently adopted a permanent or semi-permanent remote workspace at home –– holding virtual lunches or “snack breaks” can be a great way for business leaders to encourage camaraderie between employees. Scheduling out moments in the day for your staff to hop on a video call just to chat and shoot the breeze can actually help boost morale and, by extension, productivity

Long-Term Breakroom Design Plans

So far, we’ve touched on breakroom ideas that assume COVID-19 will play a part in the professional psyche for many months –– if not years –– into the future. Yet, it’s possible that by this time in 2022, office spaces may have returned to pre-pandemic normality. If that ends up happening, then business leaders may be well served to create large, inviting breakrooms for their employees to socialize and interact together. Odds are, people are going to crave person-to-person meetings in a post-pandemic world, so giving them more space to do just that is likely a good idea. While that may not be feasible for the next few months, breakrooms of the future could include even more communal features like dining tables, snack bars, coffee stations, and/or board games. In other words, what breakrooms look like in six months may not resemble office breakrooms in six years at all. So keep an open mind when you approach this issue. 

Contact Us

At Key Interiors, we’ve partnered with businesses of all industries and sizes to create office and breakroom design plans that resonate with employees. If you’re looking to revamp your workspace setup, then contact us here for more information.