There are many factors presently for business owners, Facilities Managers and office managers to consider when looking at the office of workplace interiors, with a view to trying to keep all staff and departments happy, healthy and comfortable. 
Such topical factors, issues or talking points include wellbeing in the workplace and supporting and managing team members on long term sick/long covid to high absenteeism levels presently and granting menopause leave as well. Therefore, what can you do to enhance the space you have to find a happy medium? 
On average, we spend a third of our day at work, so it makes sense that our environment at work should be just as welcoming and inviting as our homes. Not only that, according to a survey done by Office Genie, a well-designed office can make you feel up to 33% happier ... 
Social spaces 
The concept of social areas or social spaces in the workplace has been around for a while but the need was heightened after the pandemic a lot. This concept is based on a growing need for design-led soft seating furniture such as sofas and armchairs to transform the standard office environment into a modern, comfortable, multipurpose and homely looking space where people and teams can meet, relax, work or dine in comfort, all within the workspace. 
So why do we want some furniture and such a space at work and what are the benefits? 
In lockdowns we got used to working from home and enjoyed our creature comforts that you didn’t typically find in a more traditional office. The key benefits, as highlighted by many, are: 
• This type of furnished space promotes the wellbeing of employees 
• Having areas to be productive in 
• To encourage collaboration 
• To enhance the brand and culture of the business 
Here is an example, albeit we appreciate out of most business owners/FM’s budgets and wishes, of Air BnB’s office space This space has a massive three-floor ‘Gsky’ living green wall and a central collaborative lounge area for working. Plus cosy boardrooms, to kitchen-like cafeterias, the light-filled hubs foster creative development and boost productivity, giving employees the freedom to roam the workplace as if it were home. 
Breakout area furniture 
What do we mean by breakout furniture? Eg soft seating, coffee tables and drinks areas, kitchen areas and dining areas. 
Whether you work in an office, university, school, showroom, waiting room and any other workplace, having such areas is really seen as a benefit. 
When choosing the furniture or type of breakout and social furniture that would best work for your workplace, consider things like space, usage, traffic and footfall, materials, colours, budgets, ranges and what bests compliment your current furniture and set up. 
And don’t forget the furniture isn’t just for staff, but a comfy sofa in reception for example would also be welcomed by visitors too. 
For advice on your design and layout options and what to consider, click here  
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