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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.