How an Office Lounge Can Create Happier Employees
An office lounge is a perfect place to enjoy a break — or at least it should be. An office lounge can provide employees with a laid-back, comfortable place away from their desks to eat, socialize, and re-focus. We’ll explore some ideas for designing a lounge for a dynamic office space.
What is an office lounge?
An office lounge blends the comfort of home offices with an office’s amenities and healthy culture. A fully equipped office lounge area can be where great ideas and innovation are born. In these spaces, you can find a wide range of furniture, tables, and, in some modern offices, games and entertainment. The design and amenities of such a lounge will depend on your company’s culture. When choosing office furniture for the lounge, think about the kinds of activities the space will be expected to accommodate.
What goes into an office lounge?
Not all lounges will have all of the possible amenities, but here are examples of things you can consider when designing or updating the space.
The most critical part of creating a relaxing space is choosing the correct seating. Depending on the needs of a given company, the type and range of seating will differ. The lounge could have chairs, sofas, stools, or benches.
Most likely, some (if not all) employees will opt to eat their lunches in the office lounge. Tables are essential for eating and conversing over meals. You may also include lower coffee tables for more relaxed interactions.
If employees will be eating in the lounge, it’s nice to provide a kitchen of some sort. That will provide a place to refrigerate, store and prepare food, and to clean dishes. It’s also helpful to have a sink to supply water or allow the pouring out of liquids.
In office lounges, you’ll often find coffee makers, refrigerators, toaster ovens, microwaves, and other appliances people need to re-heat food.
Depending on the size of your business, you might include a vending machine or a station with free refreshments. This can help prevent employees from getting hungry between meals.
In the lounge area, employees might want to work on their laptops or need to charge their phones. Make sure the lounge area has plenty of outlets that employees can easily access.
Some businesses with space for a large lounge provide games, puzzles, or activities for employees. Games can encourage light-hearted fun and help people blow off steam.
Why provide office lounge areas?
The purpose is determined by both strategic design, culture, and employee habits.
Rest and relax
An office lounge can be an excellent place for employees to take a breather away from their desks or workstations. For that reason, many businesses provide office lounge chairs and sofas to be comfortable. They need not be all grouped together. The introverts will especially appreciate a place to relax on their break that isn’t their car.
Socialize and build community
Many people thrive in an office environment in which they can connect with their co-workers. However, sometimes colleagues connecting at their workstations drift too far into social interactions. The people involved and others working around them might lose focus.
Office lounge spaces provide coherent environments that are clearly designed as places where social connections are primary. Coworkers who feel connected tend to have better teamwork skills. This means that workplace creativity, productivity, and other necessities will increase as those interpersonal relationships increase.
A change of scenery at the office allows workers to disconnect from their stress and gain a new perspective. If you already have an office lounge, try giving it an update. You could change the color of the wall paint, add more comfortable furniture like lounge chairs, or even include games. These changes help separate this lounge space from the rest of the office. It creates a distinctive area for employees where they can alleviate any stress without leaving the office.
Employees aren’t quite ready to give up the option of remote work. Companies are adjusting their return-to-office expectations accordingly. According to a survey of 2,000 companies in the U.K., most are planning to allow employees greater flexibility on where and when they do their jobs.1 But one of the greatest benefits of having employees in the office is the potential to build an office culture of diversity, inclusion, and innovation.
But how is a company supposed to build culture, an integral part of workplace innovation and values, with remote employees? A well-designed office lounge may help fill the gaps in flexibility that employees feel their former offices lacked. It may even lead employees to change how they view the office in general. With an office space more conducive to workers’ needs, employees may be more likely to venture back into office spaces. Think of your office design as having a double duty to provide both structure and flexibility.
The modern “culture” that employees are looking for listens to their needs and adapts. When designing or changing an office lounge, ask employees what will help them be healthy, productive, and dynamic workers.
Gone are the days when employees trudged into their office job and spent eight hours in a sad, gray cubicle. With the pandemic, many remote employees learned the value of aesthetic environments and customized solutions. When designing an office lounge, strategically use color, shapes, materials, and texture to communicate style and relaxation.
Create an office lounge worth lounging in
No matter the office environment, everyone should have a shared space where they can feel comfortable relaxing and making connections. When designing or updating your office lounge, consider the comfortable, modern, stylish, and ergonomic solutions offered by Sedus. Get in touch to find out how Sedus experts can help keep your employees happy, healthy, and productive with a well-designed office lounge.
1 Home Working is Here to Stay, Survey of U.K. Companies Shows, Bloomberg