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What makes a breakout space great?

Breakout spaces have so much to offer a hybrid team. They can boost autonomy, socialization, and work-life balance. Here’s how to nail them.

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Breakout spaces – tl;dr

  • A breakout space is an informal area in the office with no set purpose, meant for the employee to use how they like. They can boost workplace autonomy by giving employees more command over their work environment.
  • Maximum adaptability is the hallmark of an effective breakout area. Sparse and uncluttered, they are also markedly more minimal than the rest of the workplace.
  • Breakout spaces promote the office’s chief role moving forward: socialization. Their casual atmosphere supports light-and-breezy mingling and relaxed collaboration.
  • Because it has no defined functional purpose, a breakout space can offer a break from the pressure to be productive all the time. It can support better work-life balance.
  • To create winning breakout spaces, make them a strategic part of your floor plan, not an afterthought, differentiate each breakout space from the next, and delineate each one with flexible furniture solutions like the SONIQ partitioning system.

What is a breakout space, area, or room?

A breakout space is an informal area in the office with no set purpose. Sounds odd but its undefined nature is its genius, as employees can use the space however they like. To break free from work. To break out of thinking. To break away from the desk. Etcetera.

Breakout spaces are markedly more minimal than the rest of the office.

Their simple composition, replete with negative space, offers a breather. Here, one can empty one’s mind. They are uncluttered. Rather than contributing to the figurative noise, they provide a break from it.

They boost autonomy by giving employees a space to use however they want.

It’s a fluid atmosphere where people can shake up their workflow, think differently about the task at hand, or disconnect from it completely in order to re-approach with crisp focus. It’s a change of pace. A switch of scenery. Downtime. Whatever employees need it to be.

Maximum adaptability is the hallmark of effective breakout area furniture.

Breakout areas are some of the most flexible spaces in the office, distinguished from formal work areas by a characteristic tinker-ability. Super flexible furniture solutions like the SONIQ partition system are ideal building blocks for a breakout space.

What makes a breakout space great?

Breakout spaces help bolster the office’s chief role moving forward: socialization.

A well-conceived breakout space can be pleasantly social — brimming with easy-going discussion and impromptu gatherings. When they engender light and breezy socialization, they’re a big productivity help for hybrid teams, with the office’s role now equal parts connection and heads-down work.

What makes breakout spaces great is how they cater to innumerable needs, letting people use them instinctively. So you never know what to expect there. Never know who you’ll run into. They supply a refreshing element of unpredictability, their low-key liveliness a welcome interruption of the rigid, linear thinking that can make work feel heavy. They’re beneficial in many ways, helping shape brighter work by supporting a broader scope of employee needs

– says Eliza Donek, Product Manager, Mikomax.

What makes a breakout space great?

Yes, breakout spaces can facilitate better work-life balance, too.

While most zones in the office are purely functional, utility-focused, the breakout space is a refuge from the pressure to be productive all the time. Integrating them into your layout communicates to your team that well-being is a priority.

When the office is made of only serious workspaces, employees aren’t supported in maintaining a sane, even-keeled approach to work. But when you offer a few fun, no-pressure spaces like breakout spaces, the employee’s whole spectrum of needs is spoken for — from rest to work, everything in between

– offers Eliza Donek, Product Manager, Mikomax.

They are perfect for ad hoc gatherings.

They manage conference room overflow. They’re a casual space for casual get-togethers, leaving in-demand meeting booths up-for-grabs for people who really need them. They’re a much-preferred alternative to huddling awkwardly somewhere on the floor, too.

What makes a breakout space great?

Breakout spaces are for all the little unplanned connections we don’t often think of when speccing meeting areas. Say a client call ends, and three employees on-site want to share thoughts before returning to work. The breakout space is the ideal spot since it’s laid-back and homey, encouraging the candid conversation that gets everyone heard and on the same page

– adds Eliza Donek, Product Manager, Mikomax.

Breakout spaces make the hybrid office more alterable and, therefore, more resilient.

Free-form and moldable. These aspects mark good breakout spaces. So considering hybrid working is new and needs are sure to change, it’s wise to include a few breakout spaces in the layout fit with free-form, moldable interior solutions like the SONIQ modular partition system that accommodate change by design.

What makes a breakout space great?

Think of it almost as “bonus” space or flex space, effortlessly retrofittable.

Today your new breakout space functions as a bubble of focus that fresh hires need for funnel deep dives. Next month, tweak it into a standing-height collaboration station your sales team needs to spitball ideas for their next big outreach. Next quarter, make it a lounge for R&R. So on, so forth.

The 3 rudimentary tips for excellent breakout spaces…

Forethought, variety, and flexibility are the name of the game.

1.    Make them a strategic part of your floor plan, not an afterthought

Breakout spaces shouldn’t be thrown together willy-nilly, last-minute, but designed carefully and placed thoughtfully in the areas of the office most convenient for employee access. Their benefits are worth the forethought.

What makes a breakout space great?

2.    Aim for variety, differentiating each breakout space from the next

A variety of furniture settings. A variety of atmospheres. The more variety you offer in your array of breakout spaces, the more seamlessly employees will move through the workplace each day, conquering their tasks, progressing slowly and steadily in the marathon of it all.

What makes a breakout space great?

3.    Make each breakout space as adjustable as possible with flexible furniture like SONIQ

SONIQ is a flexible partitioning system. It’s perfectly configurable, with two kinds of easy-to-use connectors for linking solo SONIQ panels side-by-side or at 90° angles. Its fuss-free adjustability gives employees max command over their workplace’s makeup and vibe.

Learn more about SONIQ.

Breakout spaces – summary

  • A breakout space is an informal area in the office with no set purpose, meant for the employee to use how they like. They can boost workplace autonomy by giving employees more command over their work environment.
  • Maximum adaptability is the hallmark of an effective breakout area. Sparse and uncluttered, they are also markedly more minimal than the rest of the workplace.
  • Breakout spaces promote the office’s chief role moving forward: socialization. Their casual atmosphere supports light-and-breezy mingling and relaxed collaboration.
  • Because it has no defined functional purpose, a breakout space can offer a break from the pressure to be productive all the time. It can support better work-life balance.
  • To create winning breakout spaces, make them a strategic part of your floor plan, not an afterthought, differentiate each breakout space from the next, and delineate each one with flexible furniture solutions like the SONIQ partitioning system.

Office partitons and breakout spaces – frequently asked questions

What is a breakout space?

A breakout space is a flexible, informal area in the office with no set purpose, leaving it up to employees to use however they like, whether to take five or to meet up with a work friend and chit-chat.

What is a break out space in an office?

A breakout space, area, or room is an anything-goes office zone that employees have free rein to use how they want. They’re employed for everything from coffee chats to impromptu meetings to concentrative work away from the desk. Cozy and casual, their atmosphere is also relaxing, helping counterbalance the hustle of hybrid work.

What makes a good office breakout room or space?

Convenience, comfort, and flexibility make a breakout space a big hit. Employees must be able to intuitively adjust theirs by moving around its furniture, finding natural harmony between the space and the task at hand. A modular partition system like SONIQ is a solid starting point for a new breakout space.

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