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June 7, 2022

The benefits of the office break out space

The benefits of the humble tea room and breakout space

Employment is at an all-time high, The Office for National Statistics reported that the number of vacancies, at 1.3m, exceeds the number of people out of work, for the first time. If only an app like Tinder could match every vacancy up with the perfect unemployed candidate! What this means for employers is that they need to work hard not just to attract new staff but to retain them too.  When candidates can choose between vacant roles, factors that may usually be lower down their list of priorities can become a deciding factor. If two roles are offering similar career progression and salary it may be that the office environment in which they will be working comes into play. 

Take a fresh look at your own office environment, is it enticing new joiners to your company? Is it helping you retain your current talent? Office environments have a clear part to play in recruitment and retention as well as employee wellbeing. 

Diamond Interiors take a look in this blog specifically at office breakout areas, canteens or ‘tea  points’, as we have been working on a few recently. We look at the many benefits of investing in creating a comfortable and appealing space for food, drink and a break from the work routine. What difference can it make to your business:

Breaks in a well-designed space boost creativity and can enable problem-solving:

 It’s human nature to find anything we do frequently and on a routine basis to be stultifying. Short periods spent away from your desk in a different room, particularly a well-appointed and comfortable space, can help maintain morale and well-being. 

Operating in a silo can restrict open thinking. In a breakout room you can share problems and ideas. We all recognise that sometimes 5 to 10 minutes away from a problem you have been working on for hours can be the trigger you need to suddenly solving it immediately after.

Green and natural spaces are increasingly recognised as vital to mental health so we frequently see ‘biophilic’ designs now i.e. designs using natural materials and plants in interiors to harness the wellbeing of nature.

Effective breaks encourage conversation, collaboration and team building: 
Office canteens and drink points have always had a part to play in bringing people together from different teams – the classic ‘water cooler’ chat as it’s known, or less healthy the ‘smoking hut meetings’! Building a team spirit and permitting communication with people from across the organisation is a valuable side benefit of bringing staff together in breakout rooms. 

It’s popular to have an in-house canteen with healthy options and good prices:  

Eating out every day costs money and can also eat up your permitted lunch time. A canteen or breakout zone in which staff can dine can make workers more inclined to eat in rather than spending money on pricey takeaway lunches. The location of some offices, out of town and away from any convenience stores, makes in-house space for eating a necessity. 

Providing employees with a place to prepare or buy healthy food options within the office can make healthy eating a more attainable goal. A slim, healthy workforce has obvious benefits to both employer and employee in terms of reduced sickness.

Build corporate belonging:  Breakout areas where employees can connect, socialise and get to know each other can be the one thing that helps some people cope with a difficult job or one they simply find a bit unrewarding. For many people, the team spirit it engenders can be the biggest motivation to go to work and enjoy the day. Happy staff are productive staff. 

Encourage breaks for health and wellbeing: Busy and dedicated employees sometimes need to be encouraged to take a break for their own health and wellbeing. This is really important for staff in manual jobs, for instance standing in a warehouse for long hours, as it is for those looking at a computer screen for long periods. For really physical jobs it is an absolute necessity that employees take a break. An encouraging, dedicated area for eating and socialising can encourage proper and regular breaks to be taken.


Wendy Read CEO of ‘HR Revolution’, people experts based in Royal Tunbridge Wells, had this to say about the value of providing quality offices and including spaces that aid wellbeing:

“Where you work really does matter these days. The environment, the senses and the vibes all add up to some of the reasons you love getting up and going to work. In a world that is forever changing and in many environments your work/life balance becomes a life/life balance, it has never been more important to consider the What? How? Why? of your working space. What do you offer in your workspace? What makes a working day easier and more enjoyable? How does your workspace support your team in the day-to-day?  and Why would they want to work there? If you can answer these it will go a long way to help attract and retain the right tribe of people to work in the space. Get the environment right and your team will slot right in… just make sure you keep reminding them of the perks of the space and make life as easy as possible for everyone on the team”

What do Diamond Interior Contracts provide in the redesign/refit of communal dining or breakout areas?  

  • Carefully designed office space where employees can have access to comfortable seating, quiet zones, appropriate lighting and separation partitions.
  • Organised breakout rooms to take smaller informal meetings outside of the normal space, zoned and sound-proofed spaces which won’t disturb others who are still working.
  • Comfortable spaces with the tech that you need, whether that is a water cooler or USB ports, standing desks or comfortable sofas.
  • Spaces designed with longevity in mind so fitted out with quality flooring, furnishings and the right lighting that will last

Ultimately we work with your specification to provide a working environment which provides options for staff to choose the best place for taking a break and there are multiple benefits to doing so. We help you to design and install a space which is a motivating environment for whatever it is that they wish to do whether that is taking a drink of water, making a coffee, eating lunch, chatting, meditation or just sitting down doing nothing for 5 minutes.

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