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How to create an effective kitchen or break area

Work hard, play hard… Break hard? An evolving trend over the last few years has been a stressing of the importance of taking a break while you are on the job, especially if you are involved in a particularly time-consuming task. Alejandro Lleras, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, conducted a study measuring the impactfulness of breaks on productivity, with interesting results.

“We propose that deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused,” he told the university’s news bureau.

“From a practical standpoint, our research suggests that, when faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam or doing your taxes), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!”

Change the colour

With this in mind, incorporating a well-designed kitchen or break area into your modern office design could be an excellent way to encourage people to take five minutes when they need to briefly recharge and refocus. It could have significant benefits for your small business!

A relaxation or kitchen area should be a break in more ways than one. Have it contrast with the colour scheme of the rest of your office interior design to create an environment that encourages employees to take a break from their work routine. Keep the changes from being too loud though – a bright red room in an otherwise beige office could be a cause for agitation or discomfort!

What colours will you use for your modern office design of a break room?
Erika Woelfel, the director of color at Behr Paints told the Wall Street Journal in 2012 that golden tones in an office can also make a space feel more intimate. This could be perfect for a relaxing break or kitchen area.

Make the space appropriate

WorkSafe Victoria notes that for each employee, there should be at least one square metre of clear space for them in a break area. Keep in mind this excludes office decor and furniture. So if you have a staff of eight , then you should have at least 8 square metres for your break space.

Measure these out when planning your office interior design for a safe and spacious room that your employees can kick back and have a coffee in.

Furnish with the trimmings

Designing a break area as part of your office fitout mean selecting the right office furniture, from couches to coffee machines. Free coffee is the staple of many an office, and having storage as well as refrigerators, and even a television can all create a homely feel in your break area. Of course, how far you go with catering is up to you!

Comfortable furniture is preferred over hard-backed chairs, allowing people to lie back and sit in a different manner to how they do at their desk. Remember, you’re providing a space that is a reprieve from the desk – make sure your modern office design reflects this.

Get the right help

In Herman Miller’s 2014 survey on global design trends, 41 per cent of Australian business owners that responded said they prefer to use an independent architecture or design company when they are creating a new office space, which goes against the preferences of many other countries.

This may be due to the high quality design firms you can access here in the Lucky Country. Here at A1 Office, we certainly strive for excellence and creativity while thinking within the square at all times. We have designed spaces for a wide range of companies across the country, creating functional and fashionable offices that wonderfully serve employees and employers alike. Get in touch to find out what we can do for you, and how we could transform your commercial office fitout into a dream work space.

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