The workplace has always been an important place for people, especially now, after over a year of being physically distanced when working from home. As the trend shifts from having a 30/70 ratio of open space to closed-off space to now having 50/50 or in some cases 70/30 collaboration space - the social space is an important part of this. Having a social space links with the concept of flexible working, and is about boosting collaboration between employees allowing a more relaxed approach in comparison to the previous formal arrangement. As gen Z continue to make changes to the work approach, it has become increasingly popular to meet at Starbucks for a good coffee whilst having a meeting. This engagement across a social setting often allows for a different experience rather than across a desk in the office.
Perhaps the most significant reason for including a social space in your office, is the positive impact it has on the collaboration and efficient team work between the staff. Having creative facilities and working environments can generate the more innovative of ideas, rather than being sat at a desk - especially when being assisted by the fresh cup of coffee from the coffee machine. This spontaneous atmosphere will inspire the best ideas, whilst thoughts can be discussed at a more casual level which only allows for a boost in all around team working and the generation of ideas.
The more casual approach, which a social space extends into the office, can help remove any threats that a professional hierarchy may normally impose. This will allow for staff and employees to communicate more freely. Additionally, research has proven that employees that sit together in large groups to eat their lunch are more likely to communicate outside of workhours.
Creating a place to rejuvenate and relax
Just as having a boardroom is important for team meetings, employees agree that having a space to recharge and rejuvenate is important. Allowing employees to have a proper break for example, over lunch time, on some comfier seats and away from the typical office environment will allow them to have a productive afternoon. Social spaces are your ideal area for this kind of facilities, whilst ensuring that your employees are well-rested so that they can care for their mental health and wellbeing.
Growing importance of tech
We are all aware how technology is a growing part of our jobs, and social spaces are a good area to include both visual and audio facilities. Including the most up-to date technology here can be used as a good marketing tool, and can be something to show off to clients when they visit the office. Consider the need for an active internet connection, power sources such as plugs for computer chargers and maybe some high-tech screens. Installing some different lightings, to give the setting an ambient feeling and make the most of natural light.